The COVID-19 vaccine is finally widely available in America, but the number of people signing up to get the shot(s) is starting to slow. While government officials emphasize the health benefits, corporate America is doubling down on its effort to get people who are uncertain about the vaccines to get one. And they’re using freebies to sweeten the pot.
The list of free stuff for jabs started back in March with a year’s worth of doughnuts per person, but it has grown exponentially since then. That might seem strange, given how negatively the pandemic impacted corporate earnings, but businesses have a strong interest in boosting the vaccination count, as the quicker that number escalates, the quicker sales and operations can start to return to normal.
Had your shot already? Here are some of the things you’re now eligible for.
Get your shot at a CVS in a Target location and you’ll walk away with a $5 credit for in-store purchases. If you’re a West Virginia resident between the ages of 16 and 35, you’ll receive a $100 savings bond after completing your vaccination. And state employees in Maryland will get $100 for getting the shot.
Many employers are also offering cash to employees who get vaccinated. Petco is giving associates who receive a vaccination a $75 bonus. Aldi, Dollar General, and Trader Joe’s are offering four hours of pay for getting the shot(s). Kroger is giving employees $100 in store credit and $100 cash for getting a shot, while Publix is offering employees a $125 gift card. And Drop, an e-commerce rewards startup, is giving $50 in points to users who share vaccination selfies.
Free Super Bowl tickets
The NFL is giving away 50 tickets to Super Bowl LVI as part of its vaccination encouragement plan. To win a pair of tickets, you’ll need to share the story of why you decided to get vaccinated or plan to soon. The league also plans to offer 25% discounts for purchases made at NFLShop.com to vaccinated fans later this year.
Free photo scans
Some of the best photos were taken before digital cameras were a thing. ScanMyPhotos is offering free photo scanning of up to 1,800 or so pictures to people who get vaccinated (a $170 savings). Mitch Goldstein, president and CEO of the company notes that during the pandemic, 40% of all orders were from grieving families preparing for Zoom memorial. Today, 70% are for reunions. Details are available on the site’s blog.
Samuel Adams was first, launching the “Shot and a beer” promotion, covering the cost of a beer for the first 10,000 people (21 and over, natch) who share evidence of their vaccination on social media in the form of a sticker or bandage. (The brewer is not encouraging people to show their card – and, in fact, is warning them to protect their personal information.) Just post the picture to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ShotForSam and tag @SamuelAdamsBeer and you could receive $7 via CashApp to cover your quaffed beer.
Others quickly followed. Budweiser is offering a free beer to legal drinkers throughout the country if 70% of adults are partially vaccinated by July 4th. (Register for the free beer here.) If you’re a New Jersey resident, over 30 microbreweries are joining together with the state’s “Shot and a beer” program, each offering a free beer to people who show their vaccination card through the end of the month. Connecticut, also, is giving out free drinks at over 100 restaurants, when people buy food and show their cards. (That’s not just limited to beer, either.) And many other states, including South Carolina, have local breweries offering free beers to people who get vaccinated at their facility during vaccination drives.
Several cities that have major vaccination drives are using the venues for the shots as an incentive as well. For instance, New Yorkers who get their Johnson & Johnson shot at either Citi Field or Yankee Stadium will pocket a free ticket to a future game. If you get your vaccine in the American Natural History Museum, you’ll receive a free pass for four people to see the exhibits at a later date.
In Illinois, you’ll be able to tour the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum through the end of June for free by showing proof of vaccination. And Chicago is holding a series of monthly outdoor concerts, but only for people who are vaccinated.
Free Krispy Kreme doughnuts
The doughnut chain kicked off the vaccination freebie chain in March, saying it would offer a free original glazed doughnut to customers who show their vaccination cards for the rest of 2021—all day, every day.
There’s a natural euphoria you get after receiving the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J shot, knowing that an end to the isolation of the past year is in sight. But if you want to take that a little further, some dispensaries are making it easy. The Mint Dispensary in Phoenix is offering free edibles to those over 21 who show their card. And Michigan’s Greenhouse of Walled Lake has partnered with UBaked to offer a free pre-rolled joint to anyone 21 and up with proof of vaccination. (It’s called the “Pot for Shots” program, and it has already given away more than 4,000 joints.) DC Marijuana Justice has a similar program called “Joints for Jabs.” And California’s Lowell Herb Co. is offering a special limited edition joint, dubbed “The Selfless Sativa,” for one cent.
You don’t actually need to be vaccinated yet to get a free ride from Lyft or Uber. Both companies are offering free or discounted rides to and from vaccination centers.
This one’s more hit-or-miss and depends on your local restaurant scene, but several eateries are giving notable discounts to vaccinated patrons. Detroit’s Oak & Reel is offering 50% off to dine-in customers with cards. Since March 29, Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery has been offering a free mini cheesecake to customers who have been vaccinated at its Brooklyn location.
Shake Shack is offering free French Fries (except in airports, stadiums and ballparks) through June 12. And diners at Chef José Andrés’ Washington D.C. restaurants who show proof of vaccination can receive a $50 gift card.
Check your local news sources and restaurant pages to see if your favorite restaurant has its own incentives.
Free rewards points
Some businesses aren’t giving out free products per se, but they are giving loyal customers a boost toward getting some sort of reward. Insurer John Hancock, for instance, is offering 400 reward points to members of its Vitality rewards program. Those can be used for travel, food, fitness wearables, and more.
Free video games
Once you’re vaccinated and able to get out, it might be worth a trip to Up-Down. The arcade chain, with six locations throughout the Midwest is giving fully vaccinated customers 20 free tokens if they show up within 21 days of their last shot. The offer will run all summer.
Free water sport rentals
Californians who get their “Fauci Ouchie” can head back to the beach. Everyday California is offering a free paddle board, surf board, and snorkel rental Monday through Thursday to people who show their vaccine card upon arrival. They’re also offering 20% off apparel online and in stores. Both promotions are limited to one use per person.
Your vaccination card is the easiest way to prove you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. Staples is helping you protect it, offering free lamination through July 31.
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- Like it or not, vaccine passports are coming soon to an airport near you
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- 28.5% of American adults have gotten a COVID vaccine: How each U.S state is doing
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