Free Beer And Doughnuts To Promote COVID-19 Vaccines In US

A health worker prepares a dose to inoculate a woman with the Covaxin Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a school-turned-vaccination centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2021.
Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP

 

 

Free beer, free doughnuts, savings bonds — government officials and businesses are teaming up to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

President Joe Biden wants 70 percent of adults to have received at least one shot by Independence Day on July 4 and overcoming vaccine hesitancy is key to reaching the goal.

“We know there are millions of Americans who need a little bit of encouragement to get the shot,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

Some 56 percent of American adults — more than 145 million people — have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine but the pace of vaccination has been declining lately.

Federal, state and local officials are partnering with pharmacies, restaurants, breweries, supermarkets and sports teams to come up with incentives to get people to get their shots.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy launched a “Shot and a Beer” program to encourage vaccination.

“Any New Jerseyan who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery will receive a free beer,” Murphy tweeted.

The offer is only open, of course, to residents of the “Garden State” who are over the age of 21, the legal drinking age in the United States.

Governor Ned Lamont of the state of Connecticut unveiled a similar “Free Drink” promotion with participating restaurants last month.

In Washington, Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents of the nation’s capital to “come get vaccinated and grab a beer, on us” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

– ‘Motivate them’ –
In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice announced that the state will offer $100 savings bonds to residents aged 16 to 35 who get vaccinated.

“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” Justice said. “I’m trying to come up with a way that’s truly going to motivate them -– and us -– to get over the hump.”

“They’re not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them,” Justice said. “If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated.”

In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said state employees who get vaccinated will receive $100.

They also must agree to receive any booster shots recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or they will have to reimburse the $100.

“Incentives like this are another way to reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated, and we strongly encourage businesses across the state to consider offering incentives to their workers as well,” Hogan said.

Krispy Kreme is offering a free glazed doughnut to anyone who presents their Covid-19 vaccination card at one of its stores.

According to a survey conducted in March by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 25 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 are adopting a “wait and see” attitude towards being vaccinated.

Among US adults, 61 percent said they had been vaccinated or intended to do so as soon as possible while 17 percent said they were adopting a “wait and see” approach and 13 percent said they will “definitely not” get vaccinated.

Iran Bans Import Of US, UK-Made COVID-19 Vaccines

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 22, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran. HO / Iranian Presidency / AFP
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 22, 2020, shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran. HO / Iranian Presidency / AFP.

 

Iran’s supreme leader on Friday banned the import of American and British-produced vaccines against COVID-19, saying they were “completely untrustworthy”.

“Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a tweet, accompanied by the hashtag #CoronaVaccine.

“It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations,” he added.

The Islamic republic has reported more than 1.2 million cases of the novel coronavirus, which have caused over 56,000 deaths.

Iran has accused arch-enemy the US of hampering its access to vaccines through a tough sanctions regime.

While food and medicine are technically exempt from the measures, international banks tend to refuse transactions involving Iran.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said last month that Washington had demanded that Tehran pay for the drugs through US banks, adding that he feared the United States would seize the money.

Khamenei also tweeted that “given our experience with France’s HIV-tainted blood supplies, French vaccines aren’t trustworthy either.”

That was a reference to a scandal in the 1980s in which blood infected with HIV was distributed in France, and later abroad, even after the government became aware of the problem.

Hundreds of people in Iran were among those infected.

France’s then-prime minister Laurent Fabius was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted in 1999, while his health minister was convicted but never punished.

Iran last month launched clinical trials of a vaccine developed in the Islamic republic, the Middle Eastern country hardest hit by the pandemic.

AFP