Incentives to encourage people — either as employees or citizens — to get a COVID-19 vaccine is a becoming a bit of a cottage industry.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, for one, made national headlines by offering a doughnut a day for the rest of the 2021 with proof of a COVID-19 vaccine. A movie theater in Cleveland, meanwhile, Chagrin Cinemas, is giving out free popcorn through April to vaccinated moviegoers, according to a CNBC report. And one of the quirkier get-the-vaccine incentives comes courtesy of the Greenhouse of Walled Lake marijuana dispensary in Michigan, where anyone over 21 with proof of vaccination can get a free pre-rolled joint. The dispensary calls the incentive “pots for shots.”
Some local entities are getting in on incentives as well. One of the big ones, Lakeland-based grocer Publix, is offering associates a $125 Publix gift card after complete vaccination. (The company, in a February statement, makes a point to say associates aren’t required to be vaccinated at a Publix Pharmacy to receive the gift card.) “We care about our associates and customers and believe getting vaccinated can help us take one step closer to getting back to normal,” Publix CEO Todd Jones says in the statement.
Another employee incentive program comes from Naples-based Wire Experts Group, parent company of Pelican Wire, a custom manufacturer of resistance and thermocouple wire. Wire Experts, starting March 12, has been distributing $150 gift cards to any employee who gets vaccinated, according to a statement. In addition to Pelican Wire, the company operates Rubadue Wire in Loveland, Colo.
“I am very optimistic the U.S. is on the right track with COVID-19 vaccinations,” Wire Experts CEO Ted Bill says in the statement. “From the outset of this pandemic, we have proactively worked to do everything possible to protect our employee-owners and their families. So naturally, we are strongly encouraging every member of our team to get vaccinated. Our leaders are showing the way by being the first to be vaccinated and we’ve created the program to simply express that encouragement in a meaningful way.”