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Guns, beer and doughnuts: Vaccination push appeals to our vices

Increasingly, states are adopting a whatever-it-takes approach to drive people to vaccination sites.

6/5/2021 6:11:00 PM

Increasingly, states are adopting a whatever-it-takes approach to drive people to vaccination sites.

Millions of Americans have gotten vaccinated for COVID-19, but millions more need to do so to eradicate community spread. States and municipalities have been offering creative incentives to lure people who have been less than eager to get the shot.

from the Solace Brewing Company.Fans drink beer during a baseball game at Chicago's Wrigley Field on opening day, April 1. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)“I do not think giving people guns for a vaccine is a good idea at all due to the implications for public health of gun violence,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. “I do think giving out incentives like food or beer is actually a good idea; this works in HIV medicine (giving incentives for taking pills) and has been used in medicine for ages.”

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Still, all this could come across as a little self-indulgent, considering that many parts of the world have been desperate to access vaccine doses. As of early May, there were some countries thathadn’t had a single citizen vaccinated. And others, like India, have undergone surges that killed thousands daily. In the United States, meanwhile, doses are going unused. "People should be offered a vaccine,” Johns Hopkins surgical oncologist Dr. Marty Makary said on Fox News earlier this week, “and if they choose not to get it at this point, we should send those vaccines overseas."

There is also the question of whether the incentives actually work. “It’s hard for me to believe that someone would be motivated to get vaccinated just so they could get a Krispy Kreme doughnut or two,” Doug Storey, a professor of health communication at Johns Hopkins,

said last month.Storey suggested that financial incentives could work but stressed the importance of outreach to people who have something “nagging at them,” such as a worry that vaccines are not safe. In the same White House remarks that saw him hawking beer, Biden announced a partnership with barbershops in the African American community, called

That program is premised on the notion that trust, not freebies, is what will ultimately help get people vaccinated.President Biden speaks in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on Friday. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)Of course, no state is relying on giveaways alone as a solution to its vaccination challenges. Rather, giving people free stuff is just one more means to get them to do the right thing, if the prospect of returning to a pre-pandemic normal is not enough on its own.

Plus, those giveaways inject a little esprit de corps into what can be an unpleasant or inconvenient process. “I'm basically a fan of anything that makes it fun,” said Brown University economist Emily Oster, who has written extensively on the pandemic.

“Fun” is usually not a word associated with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, but he was clearly enjoying himself during a recent press conference that had the notorious gym rat eating a burger and fries as he announced that Shake Shack, the wildly popular haute fast food chain, would be offering burgers and fries for the vaccinated.

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“If this is appealing to you, just think of this as you think of vaccination,”.“Mmmm ... vaccination.”Then there was the company ScanMyPhotos, which offered free photo scanning services for people who got vaccinated. A press release sought to distinguish the company’s giveaway as more virtuous than others. “Unlike free donuts or beer, the free photo scanning incentive will become a storytelling heirloom keepsake for families,” it read.

Christian Valcich gets a COVID-19 vaccine on May 29 in Chicago. Recipients were given a $25 card for discounts on concessions before a White Sox game. (David Banks/Getty Images)As one public health professional told Yahoo News, all such giveaways “aren't going to be that effective as incentives as much as they are effective as marketing ploys for the companies,” whether those companies are selling beer or digital photos.

“What will make a difference is requirements,” she said. And while states have urged vaccinations, they have shied away from mandating them. For now, they're hoping that cash and booze will do the trick.Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images, Getty Images (6)

Read more: Yahoo News »

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Pretty sad when you think we got a vaccine so quickly. The anti science movement is worrisome

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The US has a problem with guns. Here's what to know.More than 8,100 people have died from gun violence in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, with over 240 mass shootings as of June 1. In May, the archive said there has been a 23% uptick in deaths from gun violence this year. What neighborhoods are the majority of these gun violence deaths occurring? My guess are the ones that BLM and Co. are demanding the removal of Police Forces. BTW only 319 of those are related to Police shootings. Yep how many have been in Chicago? We don't have a gun problem. We have an unpunished criminals problem.

National Doughnut Day: Get 2 free Krispy Kreme treats — if you’re vaccinated against COVIDNational Doughnut Day: Get 2 free Krispy Kreme treats — if you’re vaccinated against COVID: I couldn't think of a better way to boost my health and immune system than getting the jab and stuffing my face with Krispy Kreme. Get vaxed, get fat Maybe try vitamin c and a salad

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People hoping to protect kids from accidental gun injuries, deaths push for stronger safety lawsHow many murders in Chicago today? CANADA US CIA EUGENICS CHURCH. CIVILIZED? THE GREAT DARKNESS THE CHILDREN SACRIFICED Nice, let’s keep it up!