President Joe Biden on Wednesday previewed what he called a "Month of Action" — a series of programs designed to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of a July 4 goal to have 70% of adults partially vaccinated.
"Today, we're announcing a month-long effort to pull all the stops to free ourselves from this virus," Biden said.
As of Tuesday morning, the CDC reports that about 63% of adults in the U.S. have at least one vaccine shot.
"We're getting closer, but we still have work to do," Biden said Wednesday.
Biden added that while more than half of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, more work needs to be done to get more shots in arms — particularly among people younger than 40. While 75% of Americans 75 and older are fully vaccinated, that number falls to just 52%.
In order to make it easier for people to get vaccinated and to incentivize Americans to do, Biden previewed Wednesday several new programs his administration will institute in the coming weeks.
- Free child care for those seeking vaccinations — Four of the largest child care providers will offer free drop-in appointments for those getting vaccinated or recovering from vaccination. More than 500 YMCAs across the country will also offer drop-in care.
- Extended hours at pharmacies — Albertsons, CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens have agreed to stay open late on Fridays in June to allow for more vaccinations.
- Community outreach — The White House launching several programs to encourage community vaccinations: A national vaccination contest among city mayors, a program that will offer vaccinations at Black-owned barbershops and a push among broadcasters to play vaccine PSAs during commercial breaks.
Incentives with private companies
On Wednesday, Anheuser-Busch announced it was the latest company to partner with the Biden administration, offering Americans a free beer for a full week after the country reaches the 70% threshold.
To participate, Anheuser-Busch says Americans need to upload a photo of themselves "in their favorite place to grab a beer" at MyCooler.com/Beer. A limited number of people that upload a photo to Anheuser-Busch's website will receive a $5 "virtual debit card that can be used to purchase one Anheuser-Busch product" — be it a beer, a seltzer or any of the company's alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.
The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry about how many prizes it would be distributing. The promotion is not open to residents of Alabama, California and Texas.
During remarks in April, President Joe Biden called on America's big businesses to find creative ways to get Americans excited about getting their shots. During those remarks, he suggested businesses offer "discounts for vaccinated individuals, product giveaways or brand rewards" to those who have gotten their shots.
Anheuser-Busch is now the latest company to offer such an incentive and will reward the country should the U.S. meet the Biden administration's latest vaccination goal.
"At Anheuser-Busch, we are committed to supporting the safe and strong recovery of our nation and being able to be together again at the places and with the people we have missed so much. This commitment includes encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to buy Americans 21+ a round of beer when we reach the White House goal," said Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris in a statement.
Anheuser-Busch joins a growing number of companies that are heeding the White House's call to offer incentives to Americans who get vaccinated. Kroger and CVS are both offering sweepstakes for those who get vaccinated in their stores, with prizes ranging from $1 million to Super Bowl tickets.
Krispy Kreme offered a free donut daily to anyone with a CDC-issued vaccination card. Baseball teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds are offering free or discounted tickets to fans who have been vaccinated.
Other companies-- like American Airlines, Kroger, and Publix--are offering cash or extra days off of work to employees who get vaccinated.
Even state governments are finding ways to motivate their constituents. For example, West Virginia is offering its younger residents a $100 savings bond to anyone who gets vaccinated, while Ohio is giving away five $1 million prizes and five full-ride college scholarships in a lottery giveaway.