Free beer: Incentives part of vaccine ‘month of action’

President Joe Biden is pushing to vaccinate at least 70% of adult Americans by Independence Day, offering free beers, baseball tickets, child care and other perks as incentives.


National News

June 3, 2021 - 9:17 AM

President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. He is pouring new incentives into his administration’s push to vaccinate at least 70% of adult Americans against COVID-19 by Independence Day. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)

Cheers to more shots!

President Joe Biden is pouring new incentives into his administration’s push to vaccinate at least 70% of adult Americans against COVID-19 by Independence Day — including offers of free beers, baseball tickets, groceries, child care and a plethora of other pandemic perks.

Biden laid out the latest vaccine freebies on Wednesday as part of what he declared a “month of action” to persuade as many Americans as possible to roll up their sleeves for coronavirus shots ahead of the July 4 holiday.

“It’s clearer than ever — the more people we get vaccinated, the more success we’re going to have in our fight against this virus,” Biden said at the White House, predicting that if enough people step up to the vaccination plate in June, Americans will get to enjoy “a summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of get-togethers and celebrations.”

For those thirsty for hops, Biden said Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser, will buy Americans of age a round of beer once the country hits the benchmark of 70% of adults having received at least one COVID-19 shot.

“That’s right — get a shot and have a beer,” Biden said.

Anheuser-Busch clarified that those interested must visit during the offer period, which kicks off once the 70% goal is met. There they can upload a picture of themselves at their favorite watering hole, and valid applicants will get a $5 prepaid card to buy an Anheuser-Busch drink, the company said.

Upstate New York’s Erie County last month conducted a successful micro version of the Anheuser-Busch effort, offering anyone a free beer at a local bar when they got inoculated as part of a program called “Shot and Chaser.”

Beyond beer, Biden said KinderCare, Learning Care Group, Bright Horizons and YMCA, four of the largest child care providers in the country, will between now and July 4 offer free coverage for parents who need their kids cared for while they get vaccinated or are recovering from side effects.

For baseball enthusiasts, Biden said most Major League teams will start handing out free home game tickets to fans getting vaccinated at their stadiums. The Mets and Yankees are already pushing similar promos at their stadiums in Queens and the Bronx.

Meanwhile, CVS, which has partnered with the federal government on administering vaccines, will launch a sweepstakes for vaccinated people to win Super Bowl tickets, free cruises and cash prices, while Kroger is serving up a raffle for vaccinated individuals to win $1 million or free groceries for a year, according to the White House.

Microsoft is getting in on the effort as well, giving away Xbox game consoles to community centers holding vaccination drives, the White House said.

Hundreds of CVS and Walgreens pharmacies will also extend their hours this month, including staying open overnight on Fridays, to make it more convenient for people to get vaccinated on their own time, Biden said.

Additionally, the Biden administration is rolling out a new partnership to bring vaccine education and even doses to more than a thousand Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons, mirroring a successful pilot program in Maryland.

“(It’s) a monthlong effort to pull all the stops, all the stops to free ourselves from this virus,” Biden said.