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Free beer, doughnuts and $1 million: Incentives to get your COVID-19 vaccine

Companies and governments are giving away money, doughnuts, scholarships and even AirPods in a continued bid to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

A couple of frosty beers
Beer, doughnuts, free food and money are just some of the perks you could win by getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
Lauri Patterson/Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Do you like free stuff? We already know the answer to that. And, boy, do we have good news for you: Not only will your COVID-19 vaccine help protect you from the virus, but it can get you so much free stuff. Companies, organizations and state and local governments are offering incentives to people getting their coronavirus vaccines -- just show your vaccine card

These incentives may be especially helpful in urging more people to get both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as the delta variant causes a spike in COVID-19 cases. As of this week, 71% of US adults have received at least one vaccine dose, but recent data has shown that some people are skipping the second shot. And though the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out the mild side effects that most people experience after the second vaccine shot, those side effects still don't compare to actually having COVID-19. If having to get two shots is part of the concern, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is just one dose. 

Aside from brands offering incentives, some employers are also offering a perk, whether it's paid time off or a cash bonus. If you aren't sure whether there's a perk, ask your employer -- you might be pleasantly surprised. To take advantage of all these perks on offer, you have to do your part and get vaccinated. Regularly updated, here's everything your vaccine card will get you.

Nationwide perks for getting vaccinated

krispy kreme vaccine

Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts to those who show they've received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme

You can get a free Original Glazed Doughnut at any Krispy Kreme by showing your vaccination card. As long as you've gotten at least one shot, you can get one free doughnut per day through the end of 2021. 

Now playing: Watch this: Vaccine passports for COVID-19: How they'll be a part...

Uber and Lyft

Both Uber and Lyft are offering assistance to help people get to vaccine centers and pharmacies to get their shots. You can also help out with this effort by donating rides to those in need directly through the companies.

Statewide and regional perks and lotteries

Many states are offering vaccine incentives. Here are some of the highlights.


Opportunities to participate in the state's biggest vaccine incentive programs, like the $1.5 million lottery or the $50,000 prizes, expired earlier in the summer. But the race to be one of the first 2 million people to get vaccinated between May 27 and July 18 and win a $50 gift card is still open, and select vaccination sites are currently giving away Six Flags tickets for anyone showing up for their shot. Find a participating clinic here.  


As in California, Colorado's large cash rewards for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 have expired. However, if you're in Colorado and have been waiting to get the vaccine, make an appointment at one of these vaccine sites and you'll get a $100 Walmart gift card, no competition necessary. 


The state of Maryland is offering a $100 incentive to state employees who get vaccinated. Employees must be fully vaccinated and show proof to their HR departments. The state is also requiring these people to comply with a booster shot if that becomes necessary.


The city of Detroit is offering a $50 gift card to people who offer rides to those going to get their vaccines. Those who want to do this have to set up the appointments for those who need rides through the Good Neighbor program by calling 313-230-0505. 


Washington, DC, is giving away free AirPods and $51 gift cards to kids age 12-17, while supplies last. 


New York City

New Yorkers who get vaccinated for the first time will receive $100 on a prepaid debit card or their choice of another prize if they get a shot at one of the city's vaccination sites. Additionally, organizations can refer people to a vaccination site and sign up to receive $100, and up to $2,000 in referrals.


Ohio was a leader for state governments offering its citizens incentives for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, state workers in Ohio can receive $100 for getting vaccinated for the first time, while their spouses can earn $25.

The Cincinnati Reds are offering $10 tickets to people with proof of at least one shot.


Some areas are giving away money if you get your coronavirus vaccine.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Washington, DC

Teens ages 12-17 are offered a pretty sweet deal if they get their first shot at a participating DC vaccination site -- a pair of AirPods (while supplies last) or a $51 gift card. In addition to the AirPods, teens can be entered into a drawing to win a $25,000 scholarship or an iPad and headphones. Parents who take their kids to get a shot at one of the three DC public schools are eligible for a $51 gift card themselves. Students aged 18-21 who are seeking a high school diploma at a DC public school can also get a pair of AirPods or a $51 gift card (if supplies are available).  

How to find other perks in your area

Plenty of other businesses, including local sports teams, are offering incentives to get vaccinated. The best way to find them is to keep tuned in to your local news. Both TV news and newspapers will inform you of what perks you can find in your area. You can also scout places on Facebook, especially if you live in an area that has its own Facebook community for happenings like this.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.