UK's Covid-19 vaccinated youth are offered clothes, holiday vouchers

A member of the public receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination centre in Newcastle on Aug 15, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Britain is stepping up its efforts to encourage young people to come forward to take Covid-19 vaccines, with a host of companies offering rewards for those who get a jab.

The offers were announced the day after the government said all 16- and 17-year-olds in Britain would be offered the jab by next week. The nation is hoping to increase vaccination rates among younger Britons to significantly reduce transmission and protect the population from potential "long-Covid-19" symptoms.

The incentives, which include gift cards at holiday website lastminute.com and clothing vouchers for the Asda supermarket, will join those due to be offered by Deliveroo and Uber Technologies.

They are mainly designed to appeal to students and other young people. Data published by the Office for National Statistics this month showed the rate of vaccine hesitancy for those aged 18 to 21 was 5 per cent, rising to 11 per cent among those aged 16 and 17.

Monday (Aug 16) also marks a change in policy for Britain, which the government will hope will further encourage take up of jabs.

From Monday, more than 40 million fully vaccinated adults, as well as under 18s, will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they come into contact with a coronavirus case.

Instead, people identified as close contacts by the test-and-trace programme will instead be advised to take a polymerase chain reaction test while remaining free to go to work and school as normal.

"The requirement for double-jabbed and under-18s who are contacts of people with Covid-19 has been removed as we cautiously take another step back towards normality," Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.