According to the CDC only about 37% of the US population have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine – that’s just over 100 million people.
More than 150 million have received at least one dose. But as time goes on there seems to be more hesitancy among those who have not yet been vaccinated and that effects, and potentially could harm us all. CPG to the rescue. And they are trying to tempt people to get vaccinated by bribing them with free foods and a media blitz. Budweiser is offering free beer (of course you must be over 21), Junior’s Restaurant in NYC is offering a free mini cheesecake, Krispy Kreme will give you a free donut every day for the rest of this year when you show your vaccination card - and on the day you get vaccinated Nathan’s will give you a free hot dog, in New York City only.
Not to be outdone White Castle is offering a free desert on a stick – they have 4 varieties to choose from and Unilever is giving free popsicles and Klondike shakes today - this Friday May 14th in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix. McDonald’s isn’t giving away any food or beverages, but will print some 50 million coffee cups with the slogan “We Can Do This” as part of a partnership with the White House to promote getting vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy is increasingly becoming a major problem in this country. In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 47% of people who say they want to "wait and see" before being vaccinated said paid time off to get it would make them more likely to do so, and 39% said a financial incentive of $200 from their employer would work. I do not mean to be hyper critical – and in all transparency I have had my two doses of the vaccine – but using bribery, whether its in the form of free foods or cash - in my mind will not be as effective as truly understanding how to communicate with people about the benefits of the vaccine. Yes, there always will be some – hopefully small percentage of people that will refuse to take the vaccine – but our language needs to be better.
The reality is that according to the CDC there have been over 32 million cases of Covid 19 here in the US. Confirmed deaths are well over 500,000 with new reports saying that estimate is wrong and that the reality is closer to a million. Let’s be a bit stronger in our messaging?