The Offer Of Free Beer May Help Lagging Vaccination Rate
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Like many parts of the country, Erie County, N.Y., had gotten kind of stuck in a rut with vaccinations. Appointments at many Buffalo-area clinics were lagging.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Until, as The Buffalo News writes, they said the magic words - free beer.
JEFF WARE: You give people a beer, they tend to show up.
MARTIN: That's Jeff Ware. He owns Resurgence, a local microbrewery. And over the weekend, there was a line out the door to get vaccinated next to his towering metal fermentation tanks. It was the first vaccine-for-beer pop-up in the county's aptly named Shot and Chaser program.
INSKEEP: The idea here is you get the shot and you get a free beer. That's the whole deal. Here's Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz.
MARK POLONCARZ: We decided it just makes sense to go where the people are. We got 10 times more people to get vaccinated with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in just a few hours at a brewery than we would have if we had been sitting in one of our full-time clinics for 12 hours.
INSKEEP: He says their other vaccination sites averaged just a handful of appointments per day recently, but at Resurgence this weekend, they did around 150.
MARTIN: More Buffalo-area breweries will offer the promotion soon. Jeff Ware says the beer scene has plenty of reason to support the county's vaccination efforts.
WARE: We're anxious, you know, to get back to banquets and parties and a full taproom in a very safe manner as we can. But I think the light is at the end of the tunnel here.
INSKEEP: Let's raise a glass to that, even though it is kind of early.
(SOUNDBITE OF DINOSAUR JR.'S "ALMOST FARE")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.