Free booze, baseball tickets and cash offered as US demand for COVID-19 vaccine drops

Coronavirus Vaccine

A woman walks past a sign directing people to the Lincoln Park Covid-19 vaccine facility in Los Angeles, California on May 3, 2021. – A citywide emergency alert was due to be sent to cell phone in Los Angeles on Monday reminding people to get their Covid-19 vaccine as numbers of people getting vaccinated have fallen over the past week. The city-run vaccination sites are due to offer more than 250,000 doses this week, more than ever offered during the pandemic. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) —With the coronavirus vaccination rates beginning to plateau, states are turning to cash, alcohol and baseball tickets as a way to convince stragglers to get the shot.

The U.S. coronavirus vaccination campaign has reached a tipping point, with supply outstripping demand due to factors including ambivalence or skepticism about the vaccines as well as access issues. In recent weeks, the number of Americans seeking to be vaccinated against COVID-19 dropped by a third, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Robert Day walked up to a house in northwest Detroit, eager to talk about nearby COVID-19 vaccination sites and pitch a local program that pays $50 to anyone who brings someone to a clinic to get inoculated.

A man sitting on the porch, who refused to give his name, tore up the flyer Day had handed him and stormed inside.

“That’s just one person’s opinion,” said Day, a volunteer helping the Michigan city convince more people to get vaccinated, before he moved on to the next home on Tuesday.

This week, President Joe Biden set an ambitious target of having more than 70% of U.S. adults get at least their first shot by July 4, shifting the country’s inoculation strategy from mass vaccination sites to pharmacies and mobile and pop-up clinics with walk-in availability.

About 105 million U.S. adults are fully vaccinated and more than 56%, or 145.7 million people, have received at least one shot as of Tuesday, according to CDC data.

Biden’s goal of inoculating 160 million by July 4 will be challenging, but will help reduce circulation of the virus to very low levels and allow a return to normal life, experts say.

That is forcing public health officials to try new strategies to persuade people to get the shot.

Freebies by state and city

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Mets and Yankees Major League Baseball teams would give free tickets to fans who got vaccinated at the ball parks before games.

New York is also offering free tickets to the Natural History museum. Visitors can even get their shots under the iconic blue whale.

New Jersey, Washington DC and Connecticut are partnering with bars and brew pubs to offer a free drink to people who are newly vaccinated.

Maryland announced it would give $100 to state employees who get inoculated.

Detroit is offering $50 to those who drive a pre-registered individual to a vaccine clinic.

West Virginia plans to encourage those between 16- to 35- year-olds with a $100 savings bond

Chicago announced a concert series eligible only to adults with proof of vaccination.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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