Posted: Fri 6th Aug 2021

Wales won’t use vaccine bribes and threats to boost uptake among young people

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Aug 6th, 2021

Mark Drakeford has said the Welsh government won’t be offering vaccine bribes in order to boost uptake amongst the younger population.

In England ‘vaccine bribes’ are being offered to young people to bolster the numbers having the jab, they include free food and discounts on things like cinema tickets and UBER.

Also in England, young people are being told not to “miss out on the good times” by getting both of their COVID-19 jabs in a UK government advertising campaign on billboards and social media focusing on the freedoms that vaccinations allow – from nightclubbing to foreign travel.

Mr Drakford was asked if this sort of strategy will be adopted in Wales in a bid to boost vaccine take up in the younger population.

In Flintshire, 80% of those aged between 18 and 29 have had a first vaccine dose and 59% have had both.

Speaking to BBC’s Today programme: “Neither of those are part of our approach here in Wales.”

“We have over 75% of people aged 18 to 29, already having received a first dose of a vaccine and 55% have been doubly vaccinated already.”

“So our appeal to young people is not one that either threatens them by saying you won’t be able to do things or tries to induce them by offering them prizes.”

“But just says to them, you have a contribution to make, you can keep yourself, but also other people who matter to you safe.”

“That appeal, I think means that we’ve succeeded in getting our vaccination numbers in that cohort up higher than in other parts of the United Kingdom.”

“There is more to do, it is a population who you’ve got to work hard to make sure you make vaccination easily and readily available.”

“But we think that the better way to persuade young people to play their part is to appeal to that sense of being part of a Wales-wide effort to keep ourselves safe from the virus and we think that that is succeeding.”

Earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination issued new guidance, confirming that people aged 16 and 17 will be offered Covid vaccines.

The Welsh government has welcomed the guidance and is working with the NHS on the arrangements needed to offer the vaccination to all 16 and 17 year olds.

The JCVI have not recommended vaccinating under-16s without underlying health conditions but will keep its position under review based on the latest data.

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