The brewing giant Anheuser-Busch said on Wednesday that it would offer Americans another incentive to get vaccinated: free beer.
The company said in a statement that it would “buy America’s next round” of beer, seltzer or nonalcoholic beverage once the country reached President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of the adult population get at least one coronavirus vaccination by July 4. So far, 63 percent of adult Americans have received at least one dose.
“We pride ourselves on stepping up both in times of need and in times of great celebration, and the past year has been no different,” said Michel Doukeris, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch. “As we look ahead to brighter days with renewed optimism, we are proud to work alongside the White House to make a meaningful impact for our country, our communities and our consumers.”
Reaching the vaccination goal by Independence Day may not be easy. The pace of vaccinations in the United States has slowed, but the biggest gains in recent weeks have been made in vaccinating 12- to-15-year olds, who are not eligible for the $5 debit card for free beer. However, progress has been made in reaching some groups, including Latinos and people without college degrees, with the highest rates of vaccines hesitancy, according to the Kaiser Foundation.
Anheuser-Busch’s offer comes as other businesses and states have introduced their own giveaways to encourage vaccinations. Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia said on Tuesday that the state would give away guns and other prizes, including trucks and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, to vaccinated residents.
Other states, including California, New Mexico and Ohio, have started lottery drawings to award cash prizes to those who have been vaccinated.