FIRMS are lining up to give students incentives to get Covid-19 jabs — including discounts on pizzas and taxi rides.
Uber confirmed yesterday it will offer them £10 off a journey or takeaways such as kebabs this autumn.
Students who pose for a selfie outside a vaccination centre can receive a voucher from apps such as Uber and Deliveroo[/caption]
Uber was one of two dozen big brands in talks with the Government to offer incentives to students who get jabbed[/caption]
Bosses of the ride-hailing and food delivery apps said any fresher who posed for a selfie outside a vaccination centre would receive the voucher treat.
Rivals Bolt and Deliveroo, as well as restaurant Pizza Pilgrims, were among two dozen other big brands tonight in talks with the Government to offer similar incentives.
Ministers are concerned that only 67 per cent of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose of a vaccine.
They are trying to use a “carrot and stick” approach to encourage greater take-up — especially before university terms start next month.
The students’ return will spark fears of a new Covid wave.
However, early efforts to look at forcing all students to be double jabbed were ditched after a backlash.
In the coming weeks, a number of other incentives will be rolled out to sit alongside the threat of banning unvaccinated younger adults from venues.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday: “Thank you to all the businesses who are stepping up to support this important vaccine drive.”
And he urged young people: “Once available, please go out and take advantage of the discounts.”
Jabs minister Nadhim Zahawi added: “Thank you to the businesses who have backed this mission — please get your jabs as soon as you can and grab a bargain.”
Uber said it was proud to be working with the Government on this “important campaign to encourage everyone to get their jab”.
It said it would send a push notification to millions of its users’ mobile phones next week to remind them to get jabbed as soon as possible.
Bolt was “delighted” to support the campaign, declaring: “Get a Bolt, grab a jab, get living.”
The taxi firm will offer free ride credit for people to get to a vaccination centre across university towns and cities after a similar £250,000 offer to London vaccination facilities this year.
Pizza Pilgrims founder Thom Elliot said: “By making getting your jab as easy as grabbing a pizza, hopefully we can help our teams and our customers get their first and second doses as easily and quickly as possible.”
Opinion was split on the latest move, with some of the most outspoken critics of vaccine passports giving the plan a cautious welcome.
Broadcaster and former politician Nigel Farage said: “It’s better than bullying us I suppose.”
But Tory MP Steve Baker hit out, saying that it would be “simpler just to pay them a straight fee”.
And Tim Blake, professor of politics at London’s Queen Mary’s University described the scheme as a “gimmick”.
He said young people have a right to expect more than “a handful of vouchers for rides and pizza”.
He added: “Gimmicks are great and the Government should get some credit for thinking outside the box.
“But what young people really need — and deserve — from the Government is a far-sighted and properly funded post–Covid recovery plan.”
Yesterday — amid growing concerns that vaccine passports would be sneaked in by the back door over the long Parliamentary summer holiday — one politician even called for MPs to be recalled to Westminster.
Andrew Bridgen is one of 43 Conservative MPs who have signed a declaration opposing vaccine passports.
He warned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be heading for an “embarrassing defeat” if he pushed on with plans to ban unjabbed Brits from nightclubs and big events.
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Mr Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, told LBC radio: “I think if the Government is serious about the threat of bringing in domestic vaccine passports then, of course, Parliament should be recalled.
“This is a very serious infringement on people’s liberties, it is basically unprecedented in this country, and I and a number of colleagues would oppose it.”
He was tonight backed by Tory grandee Sir David Lidington who said a “Government certificate of approval” to access certain events would set a “dangerous precedent”.