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Hawaii’s coronavirus vaccine incentive campaign launching today

  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
                                Yadyn Dowsett, 13, a student at Waianae Intermediate School, receives a free can of Spam after getting vaccinated.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

    Yadyn Dowsett, 13, a student at Waianae Intermediate School, receives a free can of Spam after getting vaccinated.

  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
                                Thanks to an anonymous donor, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center offered free cans of Spam to those that got the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at Waianae Intermediate School in May.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

    Thanks to an anonymous donor, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center offered free cans of Spam to those that got the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at Waianae Intermediate School in May.

The state is gearing up to launch a major campaign offering Hawaii residents numerous incentives for getting COVID-19 vaccinations as part of its final push toward reaching herd immunity.

The specific details will be unveiled today, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

“It’s community-driven,” said DOH spokesman Brooks Baehr. “It’s the business, the health care community and private sector joining forces all for the common good for Hawaii. We’re excited about it. Those handling the incentive side of it, we hope, will excite and engage those not yet vaccinated. The DOH will continue with outreach, education and improving access through the campaign to all corners of the state.”

Baehr said the private sector is stepping up and coming up with incentives that will be for both those who have already been vaccinated, as well as those who decide to get vaccinated at the campaign’s launch.

“This will be a campaign designed to acknowledge not just those vaccinated during the campaign but everyone who has been vaccinated to this point,” he said. “Those are the people who’ve gotten us to the lower case counts.”

The Hawaii Restaurant Association has been inviting its members to participate by offering special deals, discounts or prizes that will be displayed on an official website.

Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, confirmed some members are participating in the campaign.

“Partnering with all these great organizations to get a push to get more vaccinated is great,” she said. “We want to be able to open up and get back to normal life again. Sometimes, people need incentive to do something.”

At a recent vaccination clinic at Waianae Intermediate School administered by the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, an anonymous business donated cans of Spam to give away to those vaccinated, which were a hit.

Nationally, several retailers have already been rolling out COVID-19 vaccine incentives.

Krispy Kreme has since been offering a “sweet” deal to help scale up COVID-19 vaccinations.

Since March 22, Krispy Kreme says on its website that anyone who shows their COVID-19 vaccination record card will receive a free original glazed doughnut.

To qualify, guests must show their COVID-19 vaccination record card, the company said. A vaccine sticker does not qualify. Also, guests cannot get a free doughnut on behalf of vaccinated family and friends.

Each individual guest is limited to one original glazed doughnut per day, with no purchase required.

Krispy Kreme on Maui has indeed been giving free doughnuts away to those qualified, a store worker confirmed.

CVS Health, which owns Longs Drugs in Hawaii, also launched a sweepstakes promotion this month, offering everything from a VIP trip to the Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles to free cruises and gift cards.

Customers ages 18 and up who received their final COVID-19 vaccine doses at a CVS Pharmacy, including Longs Drugs or a CVS pharmacist at an off-site clinic up to July 10, are eligible. That includes those vaccinated prior to the sweepstakes launch.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a “month of action” to urge more Americans to get vaccinated before the Fourth of July holiday, whether it’s through incentives or the easing of barriers.

The Biden administration views June as “a critical month in our path to normal,” according to an Associated Press story.

Anheuser-Busch has announced a promotional giveaway, saying it will buy Americans ages 21 and up their “next round of beer” via a $5 virtual debit card if the White House reaches its goal of getting 70% of adults in the U.S. partially vaccinated by Independence Day.

Other states on the U.S. mainland have offered vaccinated adults incentives such as drawings into lotteries for monetary prizes and full-ride college scholarships, college bonds, and other cash incentives.

“During this campaign, COVID-19 vaccines will be more accessible than they have ever been,’ said Baehr. “We will have pop-up clinics and vaccination events happening around the state throughout this campaign. It is our hope through continued education, easy access and incentives that we will help people who have procrastinated to this point to decide that now is the time. I’m ready. Let’s go.”

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