People do not like going to the doctor to get shots, but one New York county has devised a way to help round up those that are hesitant about getting the jab: free beer.
The Buffalo News reported that Erie County “worked with a local microbrewery to host its Shot and a Chaser program, offering individuals who got their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at Resurgence Brewing Company a free pint glass and coupon for the vaccinated person’s drink of choice.”
This weird new program seems to have worked wonders. At the sites, there was a line out the door before vaccinations even started, and by mid-afternoon, more than 100 people had gotten jabbed and taken up the offer.
“We’re going to do more people today at our first-dose clinics than most of our first-dose clinics in the last week combined,” Mark Poloncarz, County Executive, stated on the News. “It’s been a success. We figured it would be pretty good, but now we’re seeing the results.”
The news outlet also stated that Suffolk County and New Jersey have also copied the idea by giving out free drink vouchers at local breweries for those who went in and received the vaccination.
While the program is just a small effort, Poloncarz stated. “But if it gets another 200 people vaccinated today who otherwise would not have, that’s 200 more people that are going to be protected from Covid-19,” he stated, “and 200 less people we need to get to eventually reach herd immunity. And that’s the important thing.”
This new shot-and-a-beer- initiative goes well in the wake of the efforts of other states to bring more people in to get vaccinated. Although the program started off strong, the pace of vaccinations has slowed down. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that just over 115 million people in America have received both vaccinations, which is roughly 35% of the population.
This past month, West Virginia released a statement that all residents aged 16-35 will receive $100 dollar savings bonds upon getting vaccinated. Jim Justice, the Republican Governor of the state, stated that the plan had been set up as a way to “jump-start” the young people, who are less at risk, to get the shots.
“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” Justice stated. “I’m trying to come up with a way that’s truly going to motivate them, and us, to get over the hump.”
The governor went on to state that he wants younger people “to really see and understand that they’ve done something that’s really meaningful.”
Governor Justice estimates that the program could cost about $28 million if the offer takes off. “It would be the best money ever spent, like you can’t imagine,” he stated. Justice stated that vaccines will be available at the state basketball tournament in Charleston, and will soon be accessible at mobile units at fairs, festivals, and other events.