McDonald’s and Uber to help encourage vaccine-hesitant Americans

McDonald’s to promote vaccine information on coffee cups while Uber and Lyft to give free rides to vaccine sites

Incentivising the vaccine-hesitant in America has reached the fast food and ride-share industries.

Burger chain McDonald’s has announced it is partnering with the White House to promote vaccination information on its coffee cups.

Separately, Joe Biden announced on Tuesday a new program with Lyft and Uber which will offer free rides to anyone going to a vaccination site to get vaccinated.

Starting in July, US customers will see redesigned McCafé cups and delivery-box seal stickers featuring an upbeat message of “We Can Do This”, a slogan created by the US health department.

McDonald’s also said it will unveil a billboard in New York’s Times Square this month displaying vaccine information.

Xavier Becerra, the health secretary, said in a statement the public-private partnership “will help more people make informed decisions about their health and learn about steps they can take to protect themselves and their communities”.

As part of Biden’s goal to get 70% of the US adult population vaccinated with at least one shot by 4 July, the ride-share giants Uber and Lyft will promote rides to and from tens of thousands of vaccination sites through their apps, the White House said.

“People will be able to simply select a vaccination site near them, follow simple directions to redeem their ride, and then get a ride to take them to and from a nearby vaccination site free of charge.”

The vaccine promotion scheme is expected to start in about two weeks and last until the Fourth of July holiday.

The new campaigns join a range of consumer-focused incentives unveiled in recent days, including a micro-brewery in Buffalo, New York offering beer to patrons who accept a vaccine shot.

Vaccination rates across the US have slowed as officials encounter vaccine-hesitant segments of the population.

There is now an increasingly fervent public- and private-sector effort to meet drops in vaccine demand head-on. Unilever added free ice cream, including popsicles and Klondike shakes, to health workers and people getting vaccinated at several vaccination sites.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 47% of people who said they want to “wait and see” before being vaccinated also said paid time off to get it would make them more likely to get the shot. Thirty-nine pe cent said a financial incentive of $200 from their employer would work.


Edward Helmore

The GuardianTramp

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