Companies, States Offer Up Freebies and Money for COVID Shots
By Bob Brady
At the time of writing this (May 25), just under 40% of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated from COVID-19. That’s not quite where we need to be in order to get the coronavirus under wraps and allow people to return to normal activities, such as travel, safely.
Specialists say we need to get between 70% and 85% of the population vaccinated, otherwise the virus continues to effect unprotected populations in various parts of the country (despite overall declining cases in the U.S.).
So, not quite there.
And to get to this point, various companies (large and small) and state governments are finding ways to market to and encourage people who are hesitant or resistant to getting the vaccine.
After careful review, here are some of the top ten deals that people getting vaccinated can be eligible for:
- Money: Who doesn’t like money? Several state governments have set up lotteries, sweepstakes and incentives for people who get vaccinated.
- In Ohio for example, the state is offering the chance for five vaccinated people to win $1 million, known as the Vax-A-Million shot lottery. Other states that have some form of money giveaway include, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Colorado, and there’s probably more to come.
- Uber and Lyft Rides: Both companies partnered with the White House to offer free rides to anyone in need of getting the vaccine. The program runs through July 4.
- Free Flights: United Airlines will run a sweepstakes called, “Your Shot To Fly,” to encourage travelers to get a vaccine. Winners will receive a round-trip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere United flies.
- Sports Tickets: NBA, NHL and MLB teams are offering free tickets to fans. Teams in New York, Cincinnati and Cleveland are all offering free tickets to people who get vaccinated. In addition, anyone aged 18 and older that got their shot at a Los Angeles County- or city-run vaccine site was entered for a chance to win a pair of season tickets for the Lakers.
- The NFL also offered fifty vaccinated fans a chance to win free tickets to Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
- Daily Free Doughnuts: Krispy Kreme locations nationwide are offering one free original glazed doughnut each day you show your vaccination card – yum (and the deal goes through the end of the year).
- Free Beer: Yes please. Budweiser made the offer to anyone 21 and older through May 16 as part of a “Reunited with Buds” campaign. But don’t worry, other local breweries are also offering free beer. In New Jersey for instance, 19 breweries are offering a free cold one.
- Hamilton Tickets: Also, in LA, a pop-up vaccination clinic offered a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Broadway musical, “Hamilton.”
- Free Shake n’ Bake (Sort of): Alabama’s health department teamed up with Talladega Superspeedway on May 15 to give COVID-19 vaccines and tests, but also, give people the opportunity to drive two laps on the racetrack.
- Free Haircut and Fish Sandwich: It’s hyperlocal but because it’s such an unusual combo, in such unusual times, it made the list. The Shop Spa in Hyattsville, MD (outside Washington, D.C.), is offering $30 off a haircut and the sandwich for anyone who comes and gets their vaccination.
- Other barber shops and salons across the country have also been offering free haircuts as an incentive, and raising awareness in underserved communities, especially those where skepticism about the vaccines is high.
- Free COVID Lamination: People can get their vaccination cards laminated for free at OfficeMax or Office Depot, or Staples.
It’s not certain that these types of incentives will see hesitant or resistant people getting their shots, but it is important to do so. We’re still a way off from Dr. Fauci’s 70% to 85% vaccination, which is unfortunate since we have surpassed 33 million cases and are approaching 600,000 deaths.
The more we inch along in getting vaccinated, the more we’ll inch along in reopening, and this will continue to hurt millions of people, businesses and states throughout the summer.
So, it’s time to get incentivized and vaccinated.