Free COVID-19 Vax and Beer

Across the country, government officials are looking for innovative ways to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccines. In Erie County, NY, home to Buffalo, they’ve started up a new program that combines COVID-19 vaccines with free beer. Appropriately enough, they’re calling it “Shot and a Chaser.”


The first pop-up Shot and Chaser clinic will be held May 8 at the Resurgence Brewing Co. in South Buffalo. Attendees can get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine in the parking lot, then head into the brewery for a beverage of their choice. At Resurgence, they can pick from beers like Cosmic Truth or McKinley’s Revenge. There will be 300 slots available for sign up. And, after that first shot and beer, people can come back four weeks later for their second dose and second beer.

“We understand our constituents. We know, especially with our younger constituents, they need a little incentive,” says Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

For the county, which announced their program on social media with a Homer Simpson “MMM…BEER” image, it’s a way to help local businesses and keep citizens healthy.

“We believe we can support our local brewers, who had a tough year last year, as well as get people vaccinated,” Poloncarz says.

Erie County is not the first to offer a vaccine bonus, as across the country, businesses and brands are giving away everything from free Krispy Kreme donuts and Samuel Adams beer to marijuana edibles and vaccination card lamination.

“We just saw the state of West Virginia is doing a $100 savings bond,” Poloncarz says. “Good for them.”

The county has also signed up Flying Bison Brewing Company for a vaccine pop-up, but no date has been set. Poloncarz says they are looking for more breweries to take part in a program that’s perfectly suited to the area.

“This is Buffalo. We love our beer.”

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