By ZEKE MILLER
WASHINGTON (AP) — Free beer is the latest White House-backed incentive for Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, as President Joe Biden is announcing a “month of action” Wednesday to get more shots into arms before the July 4 holiday.
Speaking from the White House, Biden is set to update the nation on the vaccination rollout and his plans to get 70% of adults partially vaccinated by Independence Day — essential to his goal of returning the nation to a pre-pandemic sense of normalcy this summer. The latest vaccine sweetener, provided by Anheuser-Busch, builds on other incentives like cash giveaways, sports tickets or paid leave, to keep up the pace of Americans getting shots.
The White House said Biden’s “month of action” will continue to use public and private-sector partnerships to encourage Americans to roll up their sleeves, drawing in businesses, social media influencers, colleges, celebrities and community organizations to help spread the word about the benefits of vaccination and to encourage them to get shots.
To date 62.8% of the adult U.S. population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 133.6 million are full vaccinated. The rate of new vaccinations has slowed again to an average below 600,000 per day, down from more than 800,000 per day when incentives like lotteries were announced, and down from a peak of nearly 2 million per day in early April when demand for shots was much higher.
Anheuser-Busch announced Wednesday morning that it would “buy Americans 21+ a round of beer” once Biden’s 70% goal is met through a promotional giveaway on its website that will provide $5 credits to the first 200,000 people to respond when the nation reaches the vaccine threshold.
FILE – In this April 21, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations at the White House, in Washington. In April, the Biden administration announced plans to share millions of vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. Five weeks later, nations around the globe are still waiting to learn where the vaccines will go and how they will be distributed.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)