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May 04, 2021

Free beer, donuts and more offered as incentives for getting COVID vaccine

Vaccinated for COVID-19? You could get free beer, donuts and more as officials incentivize more shots

Lifestyle Freebies
COVID-19 vaccine incentives ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA/USA

Businesses, cities and states are creating incentives to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccines as inoculation rates slow.

Vaccination rates across the country have plateaued as more states expand eligibility to all residents.

To get more people to roll up their sleeves, incentives ranging from free beer to signing bonuses are being offered by cities, states and local businesses.

The average daily rate of vaccination has been on the decline for about two weeks. More than 20 states are not ordering all available doses of the vaccine as interest slows. Just last week, Philadelphia nearly lost 1,000 doses that were set to expire.  

So far, just 40% of the adult population in the United States is vaccinated, and 70% of the senior population has had their shots, CDC data shows.

In order to achieve herd immunity, officials say 70% to 80% of the population must be vaccinated. 

Here's what you could get for free with your COVID-19 vaccination card:

New Jersey announced it is offering a "shot and a beer" for residents who get their first dose in May, as part of its public awareness campaign dubbed "Operation: Jersey Summer." 

This comes as Gov. Phil Murphy rolled out plans to reopen the state fully in time for Memorial Day weekend.

All you have to do is show your vaccination card at a participating brewery:

• Battle River Brewing, Toms River
• Bradley Beer Project, Bradley Beach
• Bolero Snort Brewing Co., Carlstadt
• Brix City Brewing Co., Little Ferry
• Carton Brewing Co., Atlantic Highlands
• Flounder Brewing Co., in Hillsborough
• Flying Fish Brewing Co., in Somerdale
• Hackensack Brewing Co., Hackensack
• Kane Brewing Co., Ocean Township
• Little Dog Brewing Co., Neptune
• Magnify Brewing Co., Fairfield, Essex County
• River Horse Brewing Co., Ewing

People who don't live in the Garden State can still get a free beer from Sam Adams. 

The Boston brewer announced its #ShotForSam vaccine incentive program last month. Until May 15, the first 10,000 drinkers who "share evidence of their vaccination on social media" can get a free beer. 

Budweiser launched a similar campaign called "A Beer on Bud," that runs through May 16. People that are vaccinated and over the age of 21 can enter the "Reunite with Buds" giveaway for a chance to win a debit card to buy a free beer. 

Connecticut is offering a similar program to New Jersey's "shot and a beer," called the #CTDrinksOnUs campaign. Residents that get at least one shot of the vaccine are eligible for a free drink — alcoholic or otherwise — at participating restaurants from May 19 to 31.

National donut chain Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts for vaccinated customers. If you show your vaccination card, you get a free glazed donut.

The closest Krispy Kreme stores are located in Collingswood, N.J., and Havertown and Bensalem in Pennsylvania.

Employers offering incentives:

Comcast Corp. said it will offer its workers paid time off once they make an appointment to get vaccinated, as well as information on local vaccine sites. The company employs more than 17,600 people in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

Other local businesses like SEPTA are offering perks as well. The transit authority said it will offer its employees $100 after getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Wawa, which is currently hiring a record number of new employees, said it will offer new hires that are vaccinated for COVID-19 a signing bonus of $75.

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc., a Newton, Mass.-based company which has around a dozen child care centers in Philly, is offering $100 gift cards to Target for all its 11,000 teachers and staffers after they get vaccinated.

Other businesses offering time off and even extra money to get vaccinated for COVID-19 include AT&T, Instacart, Trader Joe's, Aldi, Lidl, Chobani, Olive Garden, Petco, Darden Restaurants, McDonald's and Dollar General. 

Banks like Santander, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co. and Chase are offering their employees time off for vaccine appointments. 

Target said it will offer its hourly employees up to four hours of pay to get both shots and cover Lyft rides to vaccination sites, up to $15 each way. 

Kroger will offer $100 in store credit, on top of a $100 one-time payment, for getting the vaccine. Publix Food & Pharmacy said its employees will get $125 gift cards. 

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