States and cities are now targeting Americans who might be reluctant to get a coronavirus vaccine as demand for the jabs slows across the nation. The U.S. is now averaging about 2.3M shots per day, which is down 32% from the peak last month, according to the CDC. Some public health experts are even concerned that the decline may jeopardize the ability for the U.S. to reach “herd immunity,” leading many localities to increase incentives for residents that take the jab.
On the table: Maryland is offering $100 to state employees that get fully vaccinated, Detroit is giving out $50 prepaid debit cards to anyone who drives a resident to a vaccine site, and in New Jersey, anyone over the age of 21 can take their vaccination card to a participating brewery for a free beer. Connecticut has a similar program, in which residents who have received at least one vaccine dose can get a free beverage at participating restaurants in the state.
That’s not all. Looking to boost West Virginia’s vaccination drive, Gov. Jim Justice announced last week that the state would give $100 savings bonds to 16- to 35-year-olds who get a vaccine. Harris County, the Texas county that houses Houston, also just approved $250,000 to be used for gift cards and events, though some are saying the incentives do not put the U.S. in a positive light compared to the rest of the world.
Private businesses are also involved: Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts to anyone who presents a vaccination certificate, while Budweiser is offering a debit card that can be redeemed for a free beer. There’s even a marijuana dispensary in Michigan, called Greenhouse of Walled Lake, that has been giving out free joints to vaccinated individuals, and recently extended the “pot for shots” program until the end of May.