Pizza for shots: UK targets young with vaccine incentives

Pizza for shots: UK targets young with vaccine incentives


LONDON (AP) — Restaurants, ride-hailing apps and food delivery services are backing Britain’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, offering discounts and even free slices of pizza to persuade young people to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.

The program, announced Sunday by the Department of Health and Social Care, is designed to boost the vaccination rate among adults under 30 as Britain races to inoculate as many people as possible before colder weather arrives.

While more than 90% of adults in Britain have received at least one dose of vaccine, the rate for people between the ages of 18 and 30 is about 60%, according to government statistics.

As he thanked businesses for helping out, Health Secretary Sajid Javid urged people to “take advantage of the discounts.” Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands to offer incentives.

“The lifesaving vaccines not only protect you, your loved ones and your community, but they are helping to bring us back together by allowing you to get back to doing the things you’ve missed,” he said.

Britain is not the only nation to try more carrot — and less stick — to persuade the reluctant to roll up their sleeves. U.S. President Joe Biden this week called on states and local governments to join New York and Minnesota in offering $100 rewards, hoping a financial incentive will spur the hesitant to be vaccinated as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through parts of the country.

Britain is keen to increase vaccination rates amid a surge in new infections as the government seeks to fully re-open society.

Meanwhile, politicians are anxious to bolster the economy as the national furlough program, which guaranteed the wages of millions of people who were unable to work due to government restrictions, comes to an end.



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