Story at a glance:

  • Bars are giving away two free pints of beer with their Moderna vaccine shots.
  • The pilot program is proving effective in convincing people to get vaccinated.
  • The program’s purpose is to secure herd immunity.

To encourage customers to get vaccinated, local micro-breweries in Buffalo, New York, turned to pop-up vaccination clinics.

First reported by Buffalo News, Erie county bars and the health department are teaming up in a partnership called  Shot and a Chaser program to serve beer and vaccinated shots to increase interest in getting vaccinated, The Guardian reported.


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Breweries are offering Moderna vaccines with a free pint glass and coupons for the vaccinated person’s choice of drink. Because the Moderna shot requires two visits, a second free pint glass will be offered to the customer four weeks later.

“Here’s a good incentive,” the Erie county executive Mark Poloncarz told the Buffalo News last week. “If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. Help get on the vaccine train, and if it takes a beer to do it, that’s OK. This is Buffalo. We love our beer.”

“We’re going to do more people today at our first-dose clinics than most of our first-dose clinics in the last week combined,” Poloncarz said. “It’s been a success. We figured it would be pretty good, but now we’re seeing the results.”

As Changing America previously reported, the prospect of the country reaching herd immunity is becoming increasingly unclear, as many people are still hesitant to receive the vaccine. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist who serves as the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and medical advisor to the president, added this was a high standard to achieve.

Eighty percent of the U.S. has to be immune to the new virus, which means more people have to get vaccinated and be masked — something experts are doubtful can happen.

However, the Shot and a Chaser program seems to be an effective way of communicating with people who were once hesitant.

“But if it gets another 200 people vaccinated today who otherwise would not have, that’s 200 more people that are going to be protected from Covid-19,” Poloncarz said. “And 200 less people we need to get to eventually reach herd immunity. And that’s the important thing.”


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Published on May 11, 2021