Getting a COVID-19 shot or proving you're vaccinated can earn you free stuff

Who doesn't like free stuff?


After surviving a fear-filled year of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting vaccinated is a cause for celebration.

From beer and doughnuts to savings bonds and chances to win a brand new car, places around the U.S. are offering incentives to try to energize the nation’s slowing vaccination drive and get Americans to roll up their sleeves.

These promotion efforts have been accompanied by more serious and far-reaching attempts by officials in cities such as Detroit, where officials are offering $50 to people who give others a ride to vaccination sites.

Chicago officials are planning vaccination sites at festivals and block parties and are working with barbershops and hair and nail salons to pair free services with vaccination.

“The idea here is to bring the party, bring the vaccine and really have this be a convenient way for people to get vaccinated,” Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

Several companies have also announced that employees can take paid time off to get vaccinated.

Officials in West Virginia are giving $100 savings bonds to young adults who get their shots.

Other companies are getting into the spirit with marketing pitches.

In Cleveland, a movie theater is supplying free popcorn through the end of this month.

Several marijuana dispensaries around the country are giving out cannabis treats or free rolled joints. On April 20, marijuana advocates offered “joints for jabs” to encourage people to get vaccinated in New York City and Washington.

In New Jersey, residents 21 and older can get a free beer if get their first vaccine dose in the month of may and take their vaccination card to 13 participating breweries.

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A bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, also offered "a shot and a beer" for anyone who got vaccinated at an outdoor clinic where about 40 people got their first dose.

In Alaska, which traditionally has low vaccine confidence, the Norton Sound Health Corp., with a hospital in Nome and 15 clinics across western Alaska, has given away prizes, including airline tickets, money toward the purchase of an all-terrain vehicle, and $500 for groceries or fuel.

Here are other businesses offering incentives for customers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19:

Junior's Cheesecake

From now through Memorial Day, Junior's Restaurant is offering a free mini cheesecake to anyone who shows their vaccine card at their landmark restaurant at Flatbush Ave. and DeKalb in Downtown Brooklyn. (In New York City only.)

Krispy Kreme

You can get one free glazed doughnut every day if you take your vaccination card to any Krispy Kreme location in the U.S., the company said in a press release. The card must show one or two shots of any COVID-19 vaccine to qualify, and the offer must be redeemed in store. And no, you don't need to purchase anything to get your daily free doughnut.


Through May 16, or while supplies last, Budweiser is giving a free beer to anyone 21 years old and up who provides their proof of vaccination on Bud fans first have to first register at the company's website.

Samuel Adams

Through May 12, the Boston-based beer company is reimbursing 10,000 vaccinated customers for a beer in its "#ShotForSam" campaign.

"Sam Adams hopes drinkers will get back to supporting the bars and restaurants they love. So if you get vaccinated against COVID-19, we'll buy your first beer back!"

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The company sends $7 through the Cash App to anyone who posts a photo of their vaccination sticker or bandage on Twitter or Instagram. Posts have to include #ShotForSam and tag the @SamuelAdamsBeer account.

Submissions can also be sent via email to

Once someone posts, the company said it will reply with a direct message and distribute the $7 through the Cash App. A variety of rules and regulations apply.

Nathan's Hot Dogs

If you visit Nathan's Famous in Coney Island with your vaccination card — on the same day you get vaccinated — you get a free hot dog. (In New York City only.)

Staples and Office Depot

Staples and Office Depot want vaccinated Americans to keep their vaccination record cards in good condition. So the office supply companies are offering free laminating services for those with completed COVID-19 vaccination cards. A spokesperson for Staples told CNN that the service is available at all Staples locations in the U.S. and currently has no end date.

White Castle

Through May 31, burger chain White Castle is giving a free dessert-on-a-stick to anyone with proof they have received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the company. White Castle offers four versions of the dessert on a stick: Gooey Buttercake-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Brownie-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Cheesecake-on-a-Stick and, as of earlier this month, its Birthday Cake-on-a-Stick in honor of the company's centennial this year. No other purchase is necessary.

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.