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US vaccine incentives include free weed, beer, and cash

Joint for jabs? States across the US are trying different vaccine incentives to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates.

The Biden administration has teamed up with various companies and organisations to offer free beer, childcare and outreach to communities with higher levels of vaccine hesitancy.

The move comes after Biden promised to inoculate 70 per cent of the country by July 4.

Vaccine Beer Incentive
Image: Chiociolla/Shutterstock.com

However, some states have taken it upon themselves to up the ante and protect their residents from the virus by offering million-dollar cash prizes, and pre-rolled joints in exchange for getting the vaccine.

The more people we get vaccinated, the more success we’re going to have in the fight against this virus,” said Biden.

States such as California, New York and West Virginia are offering lottery prizes ranging from $50,000 to $5 million (state to state).

Additionally, licensed cannabis shops in Washington have been given the green light to offer a single pre-rolled joint to anyone over 21 who gets a vaccine at their in-store clinic, in a scheme nicknamed “Joints for Jabs”.

Washington isn’t the first state to offer a cannabis promotion, with Arizona announcing a similar campaign and providing free marijuana joints or gummy edibles to those over 21 who receive the vaccine.

West Virginia is also raffling rifles and shotguns to vaccine takers.

Yesterday, Australian businesses were given the green light to offer rewards to people who get the vaccine, with approved arrangements in place until the end of 2022 – provided they don’t make false claims about the vaccines or identify the brand names on offer.

The rewards are allowed to include store vouchers, discounts and frequent flyer points, but cannot include alcohol, tobacco or medicines other than those listed.

In summary, we’re taking a slightly different approach to the US.

Our national vaccine strollout has officially ticked over the five million mark.

As such, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is looking into material from Pfizer about extending the jabs to 12 to 16-year-olds.

According to guidance documents released by the TGA, the new vaccine communications rules are designed to: “give health professionals and Australian businesses more flexibility to contribute to the national conversation about vaccination.”