As demand for vaccine slows, incentives may help boost vaccinations

Coronavirus

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Free donuts, and even free marijuana have been offered to those who show proof of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States.

Last weekend, Francesco’s Pizza in Providence gave away a free slice to those who showed a COVID-19 vaccination card.

Frank Schiavone, who opened the pizza shop in October — the height of the pandemic — said Sunday’s event was a way to “mix business in trying to do something good.” He gave away hundreds of slices.

Local incentives continue next week in an effort to get younger Rhode Islanders vaccinated.

The City of Pawtucket, along with the Pawtucket Youth Commission, announced clinics at Shea and Tolman high schools to vaccinate students 16 years and older.

Clinics are scheduled at Shea High School on May 13 and Tolman High School on May 18. The city says after getting a vaccine, students will receive a voucher for an item from food trucks that will be on-site set up as a “block party.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Dan McKee was asked about offering vaccination incentives statewide.

“There are some creative ideas out there, there was ‘Get a Shot, Get a Beer’, so I think it’s important that we’re keeping front and center on that issue,” McKee said to reporters Tuesday.

“We’re going to have to be creative in terms of that pick and shovel work. I wouldn’t be against that if it was done in a way that made sense,” he added.

McKee said he’d likely have more to share about an incentive program in Thursday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing at 1 p.m.

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