Joe Biden is ramping up efforts to get the American population vaccinated against COVID-19, offering free childcare for parents while they get their vaccine, and free car rides to and from vaccination centres, provided by Uber and Lyft.
The incentives are part of Biden’s “national month of action” as the government works to get 70 per cent of the adult American population vaccinated by the July 4 national holiday.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, 52 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, as are 75 per cent of all seniors.
The White House announced that four of the country’s largest childcare providers will offer free childcare to all parents and caregivers getting vaccinated or recovering from their vaccination until July 4. During the month of June, providers across the US will be offering free, drop-in appointments for parents who need to leave their children to get their vaccines. The decision comes after many unvaccinated Americans have reported concern about the financial barriers of getting vaccinated, including paying for child care.
“In addition, Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to and from vaccination centers,” Biden said in a press conference. “It’s easier than ever to get vaccinated.”
“The more people we get vaccinated, the more success we’re going to have in the fight against this virus.”
He also predicted with more vaccinations, the US will have “a summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of get togethers and celebrations. An All-American summer.”
For parents who haven’t been able to get the shot because they didn’t have child care. Starting today, KinderCare, Learning Care Group, and Bright Horizons – alongside hundreds of YMCA locations – will offer free, drop-in child care while parents are getting vaccinated.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 2, 2021
The Biden administration has also partnered with brewing company Anheuser-Busch, who will give away free beer to all vaccinated adults on July 4 to celebrate their progress in the pandemic. Free tickets to the Super Bowl LVI and major league baseball, as well as cash prizes are up for grabs.
“Get a shot and have a beer. Free beer for everyone 21 years or over to celebrate the independence from the virus,” Biden said.
Biden is also making it easier for people with less flexible work hours to get their vaccine, by extending the opening hours of thousands of pharmacies across the country. Major pharmacy chains will remain open 24 hours every Friday in June.
“This is the kind of on-the-ground work that’s going to get the job done,” Biden said. “All over the world people are desperate to get a shot that every American can get at their neighbourhood drugstore.”
Vice President Kamala Harris will also be leading a “We Can Do This” vaccination tour to encourage more hesitant people to get their shot. The tour will also include First Lady Dr Jill Biden and second gentlemen Doug Emhoff. The tour will focus on southern states, where vaccination rates are lower than other parts of the country.
The White House has also announced an initiative called “Shots at the Shop”, engaging black-owned barber shops to act as education and vaccination outreach centres for communities of colour. The government will also engage celebrities and social media influencers to promote getting vaccinated.