New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Monday that individuals, who get their first coronavirus vaccines in May will get a free beer. The "Shot and a Beer" programme is aimed at increasing participation in the state's immunisation drive, with authorities planning to have 70 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated by 30 June.
NEW: We're launching our “Shot and a Beer” program to encourage eligible New Jerseyans ages 21+ to get vaccinated.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 3, 2021
Any New Jerseyan who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery will receive a free beer. 🍻 pic.twitter.com/REiHTEa6mi
The governor's announcement triggered a torrent of comments on social media, with users praising the authorities' creativity.
Absolute GENIUS— Clay Lespool (@tunebucket) May 3, 2021
Probably more effective than a $100 savings bond.— T. Fukumoto (@mrunz) May 3, 2021
Many netizens said they would take the jab after hearing the news, while others were upset the authorities didn't launch the programme earlier.
I’m sold mate !— Bill Linkson (@LinksonBill) May 3, 2021
Me after getting my 1st dose at the very end of April, then seeing this. pic.twitter.com/sQgbMm3aVb— Jared & Sarah Soden (@JAREDandSARAH) May 3, 2021
However, many users contended that the incentive programme is not only bad, but is also unsafe.
That is so stupid— deatbird (@deatbird) May 4, 2021
Alcohol mixed with the vaccine??? Boy that sounds safe considering you have to stay 15 mins after vaccine for side effects. Guess beer will go on death certificate instead of the vaccine— Mike Johnson (@eagles62384) May 3, 2021
Others said that US authorities should send inoculations to countries that have become the epicentre of the pandemic.
omg people are literally dying in other countries waiting for vaccine stock to become available and we are over here having to beg and bribe Americans to get a free vaccine.— Jandalf the J 👁️⃤ (@Logan_Strobel) May 3, 2021
send the to India this is immature— brad h (@brad_herman) May 3, 2021
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.4 million doses have been administered in the northeastern state since the immunisation programme began last December. Out of a population of 8.8 million people 3.2 million are fully vaccinated.
Whatever it Takes
As mentioned earlier, New Jersey is not the only state that has launched incentive programmes. Authorities in the United States have been trying to persuade young people to get immunised. Young people are less likely to have a severe case of COVID-19, but according to the World Health Organisation, they drive the pandemic as most of them develop no symptoms when contracting the disease.
Businesses too have been involved in incentive programmes. Krispy Kreme has been offering a free glazed doughnut to individuals who show their vaccination card. Fancy something savory? Then head to Nathan's Famous, where they are giving out a free hot dog to anyone who visits their location in Coney Island on vaccination day.