Free beers for shots: State vaccination campaigns go all out

States are offering residents incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including beer, money and gift cards, according to The Hill.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a "shot and beer" program May 3. He said his office and the state health department in partnership with the Brewers Guild of New Jersey are joining forces to launch the program to encourage eligible residents ages 21 and older to get vaccinated. 

Under the program, eligible residents who receive their first shot in May and take their vaccination card to participating breweries as proof will receive a free beer, the governor said during a media briefing.

In Connecticut, the state's restaurant association has partnered with Gov. Ned Lamont on a #CTDrinksOnUs campaign. The association said participating state restaurants will offer complimentary drinks (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) to residents who show they have received at least one vaccine dose. The promotion, which limits drinks to one per person and requires a purchase of food, will run from May 19 to the end of the month. 

Drinks aren't the only incentives being offered. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said April 26 his state is offering a $100 savings bond to residents ages 16 to 35 who receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Other incentives from cities and states include Detroit offering residents a $50 prepaid debit card when they bring a fellow resident to get vaccinated, according to The Hill. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a new incentive program May 3 for state employees. Under the program, Maryland will offer a $100 financial incentive to state employees who get vaccinated

"With this incentive program, we are further encouraging state employees to get vaccinated to help keep themselves, their families and their communities healthy and safe," Mr. Hogan said in a news release. "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."

As of 6 a.m. EDT May 3, a total of 312,509,575 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been distributed nationwide, and 246,780,203 had been administered, or 78.97 percent, according to the CDC's data tracker.

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