Paying people £20 to get vaccinated boosts uptake, study finds amid calls to get 5m unjabbed Brits protected ahead of winter

  • Cash for Covid jabs, or driving someone to their appointment will increase uptake
  • This scheme could encourage friends and family to get jabbed
  • UK learns from US study to expand rollout of services to people who are not willing to pay 

Offering people £20 to get a Covid vaccine or drive someone to their appointment can boost uptake, a study suggests.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services discovered that the payments encouraged people of low income, Hispanic and/or black backgrounds to attend jabbing centres.

Despite rates being lower among BAME communities, Britain has no financial incentives that are intended to increase uptake. Deliveroo and Uber offer discounts for people who get the vaccine. 

Up to 4.2million adults remain unjabbled, with 700,000 of them over-50s. 

The US already has vaccine incentives in place, including entering fully immunised Americans into $1mililion (£725,000) lotteries.  

A woman received a Covid vaccine at the Birkenhead Medical Building in Merseyside on Saturday

A woman received the Covid vaccine at Merseyside’s Birkenhead Medical Building on Saturday

The NCDHHS, which is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of people in North Carolina, launched a two-week pilot incentive programme in June that gave $25 (£18) to adults who received or drove someone to their appointment for a first Covid dose.

2,890 people were able to get their first dose while 1,374 received it to drive others to their jab booking. 

Sajid Javid suggests 100,000 unvaccinated NHS staff could be FIRED. He admitted that he is ‘leaning towards” making Covid jabs compulsory in order to make medics more efficient. 

Under new plans being considered, the Government will tell NHS staff not vaccinated to get their Covid jabs. 

Some 100,000 healthcare workers — or seven per cent — are still yet to show up for their first dose in England.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid said bringing in compulsory jabs was the ‘clear direction of travel’, despite fears staff could quit the health service at a critical time.

When asked if the plans could come in this winter, Mr Javid told Sky News: ‘I’m leaning towards doing it.’

He said that patients who have not received the vaccine are putting them in danger. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Sternmer, however, said that forcing vaccinations on medics was a mistake and warned it could lead to staff shortages among doctors. 

No10’s controversial no jabs, no job’ policy is already in care homes. Staff who work in elderly residences must be jabbed before November 11. 

Care bosses warn that many homes will have to close due to insufficient vaccinated workers. 

Although vaccines are shown to dramatically reduce the risk of dying or being hospitalized from Covid, studies show that they are less effective at stopping transmission. 

Between May and June, the number people who came forward to get the vaccine from the various sites offering it dropped by approximately 26.4 percent. 

However, it fell slower than the county rate, where rates fell by 51.1 percentage points, and less than that of the state average, which dropped by 48.6 percentage points. 

Experts published a paper in JAMA Internal Medicine stating that the small financial incentive was ‘a potential strategy to increase Covid vaccine uptake’.

The cash “slowed down the decline in vaccination” and promoted more equitable distribution, especially for low-income, Hispanic, and black people. 

The team stated that “Vaccination rates are lagging in areas of higher social vulnerability. Small financial incentives should be considered along with other equity-promoting strategies.

“The social incentive of cash cards to drivers may encourage people help their friends and families get vaccinated. This is a powerful motivator that can be used by those who aren’t sure. 

These study findings suggest that increasing vaccination is worth more investment, as hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to accelerate Covid vaccine adoption.

However, they pointed out that the findings must be verified if they can be applied elsewhere. 

41 percent of the 401 respondents were asked why they participated in the scheme. 

Hispanic and ‘other’ people were more likely than white people to say that cash was a motivator.

And people with an income below $40,000 (£29,000) had a higher chance of saying the cash was important for them getting the vaccine.

Nine percent stated that they only came forward for vaccine because of the reward.

15% said they waited to be vaccinated until there was an incentive. 

49 percent of respondents said that driving to their vaccination appointment was a major reason they got the jab. However, those with lower income are more likely than those with black skin and Hispanic skin to say that the lift is important.

Ministers are being asked to convince 5million Britons to get a vaccine. 

Only 13.6% of the UK’s over-12s are currently vaccinated. However, millions of eligible people are still waiting to be vaccinated.

The Government’s plan for suppressing deaths, hospitalisations, cases and other winter-related issues is to extend the jab roll out.