Doctor ‘gets creative’ and offers up free beer in exchange for Covid vaccine

A doctor is urging medics to be “creative” and offer up a free pint or a glass of wine if they get a coronavirus vaccination.

The Covid vaccine race is on and with it, some doctors in the US are starting to offer up incentives to entice people to get their jab.

In some cases, people have been offered free doughnuts or tickets for a baseball game, but Dr Gale Burstein may have the most effective incentive there is – free alcohol.

She said told SLATE the ingenious idea came from an age-old tradition of chasing hard liquor down with a beer.

Instead of liquor, county executive Mark Poloncarz said its residents can have a free beer with every shot.

Dr Burstein, who is the Erie County Health Commissioner, said the state was able to vaccinate 150 people with the trick on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

She said: ""Our county executive Mark Poloncarz developed this idea. It comes from a Buffalo tradition where many times when people go out and drink, they'll drink a shot of hard liquor and they'll chase it down with a beer.

"That's a common kind of alcohol order. Mark thought of a shot and a chaser vaccine clinic, where if people received a shot of COVID-19 vaccine, they could get a pint of beer as chaser."

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The medic said the state is just trying to be "playful" and get people through the door as the area is seeing "the highest number of new Covid infections."

As a result, Dr Burstein said much of the Erie County population their first dose already.

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She said: "Now it's time that we be creative to meet people where they are, to entice them and excite them to get a vaccine. We know that many people that age, on a weekend, especially the rare sunny Sunday afternoon in Buffalo in May, go to a brewery to have a beer or wine.

"We were able to vaccinate almost 150 people that afternoon with COVID-19 vaccine."

A spokesman for the MHRA said: "There is currently no evidence that drinking alcohol interferes with the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines.

"We would advise anyone concerned about this to talk to their healthcare professional."

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