Teaming up with White House to raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness

UNDATED – McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme, and others are teaming up with the White House to raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness and help customers find vaccine appointments near them.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a lottery system Wednesday to entice people to get COVID-19 shots, offering a weekly $1 million prize and full-ride college scholarships in a creative bid to overcome the vaccine hesitancy that remains a stubborn problem across the nation.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine

Beginning May 26, adults who have received at least one vaccine dose may enter a lottery that will provide a $1 million prize each Wednesday for five weeks. In random drawings, the state will also provide five full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university — including tuition, room-and-board, and books — to vaccinated Ohioans under 18.

The money will come from existing federal pandemic relief dollars, DeWine said, and the Ohio Lottery will conduct the drawings.

McDonald’s announced it will promote the White House and Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” campaign on its Time Square billboard later this month and on McCafe coffee cups and delivery orders at all U.S. restaurants starting in July.

The new McCafe hot cups and new McDelivery seal stickers will direct customers to to learn more about how they can find vaccine appointments near them and protect themselves from COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, 263 million doses of the vaccines have been administered, 117 million people are fully vaccinated, or 35.5 percent. In Indiana, 4.5 million doses have been administered 2.08 million have been fully vaccinated or 30.9 percent

McDonald’s has more than 39,000 restaurants in 100-plus countries with nearly 14,000 U.S. locations.

“We all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones and be together with our communities again,” said Genna Gent, McDonald’s USA vice president for global public policy and government relations, in a statement. “McDonald’s is excited to be doing our part for the people we serve, providing them with simple information that can help keep them safe. This is a team effort – it takes all of us.

Other businesses have tried to do their part to encourage consumers to get the vaccine. At Krispy Kreme anyone with a valid COVID-19 vaccination card can get a free glazed doughnut every day through the end of 2021.

Lyft and Uber are providing free rides to anyone going to a vaccination site to get vaccinated. As part of this historic commitment, Lyft and Uber will promote rides to and from tens of thousands of vaccination sites through their apps through July 4th.

Companies such as AT&T, Instacart, Target, Trader Joe’s, Chobani, and McDonald’s are offering time off and cash payments to employees who get vaccinated.

Budweiser announced that it will give a free beer to anyone over the age of 21 who can show proof of vaccination. The company asks that people first register at to cash in on the offer. This deal will go through May 16.

The State of New Jersey is also offering the chance to get a free beer with proof of vaccination. The state government has partnered with breweries to offer a free beer to any New Jerseyan aged 21 and older who got their first COVID-19 vaccine dose during May, upon proof of a COVID-19 vaccination card.

White Castle is offering a free Dessert-On-A-Stick upon proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Options include the burger chain’s Gooey Buttercake-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Brownie-on-a-Stick, Fudge Dipped Cheesecake-on-a-Stick, and Birthday Cake-on-a-Stick.

The offer is part of White Castle’s ‘Vax for Snacks’ effort, which seeks to support the US vaccination campaign and end the pandemic. The offer is valid through May 31, with no purchase necessary. 

Target announced that it would give a $5 coupon to any person who receives their COVID-19 vaccine at a CVS at Target location. Appointments must be made using the CVS website and can be scheduled at one of the 1,700 CVS pharmacies inside Targets nationwide.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering a free 7-day Unlimited MetroCard or two one-way Commuter Rail tickets to people who visit one of their pop-up vaccination sites located across eight stations in New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. From May 12 through May 16, the pop-up vaccination sites will be administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, no appointment necessary. 

The New York State Department of Health announced earlier in May that it was partnering with baseball teams the New York Yankees and New York Mets to offer free tickets to baseball games to people who get the COVID-19 vaccine at their stadiums.

Both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are home to a mass vaccination site in New York. Fans who get vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at either stadium will also be given a free ticket to a future baseball game. 

These are just a few of the companies doing their part.

Around the world, experts and public figures have discussed the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, dispelling myths that cause vaccine hesitancy and sharing the importance of vaccine equity.

As more people become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine across the country, these national retailers and brands are doing their part to encourage people to learn the facts and help end the pandemic for everyone around the world.