As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations across the country slows, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office unveiled a new incentive—featuring two unlikely grocery collaborators—designed to get more shots in arms in the state.
On June 24, DeWine's office announced that select Ohio locations of Cincinnati-based Kroger and Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle will offer $25 DoorDash gift cards from June 25-30 to those vaccinated at the grocery stores.
DeWine's office is engaged in a major push to vaccinate younger Ohioans, with outreach and vaccination clinics in progress at schools and through community organizations and pediatricians' offices throughout the state. Currently, all those ages 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated. The DoorDash promotion, it's hoped, will encourage younger adults ages 18 to 26—who the White House this week noted have lower-than-desired vaccination rates—to roll up their sleeves.
The governor's office noted that while Ohio's COVID-19 case numbers have been dropping, deaths from the disease are skewing younger. Over the winter, before mass vaccination campaigns began, more than half of COVID-19 deaths in the state were in those ages 80 and older. Now, those ages 40 to 79 make up 65% of deaths, according to the state.
Kroger earlier this month announced a separate #CommunityImmunity promotion offering a chance at five $1 million prizes and 50 giveaways of free groceries for a year for individuals who get vaccinated at a Kroger Health facility.
"The faster we reach community immunity, the sooner we can all get back to enjoying backyard barbecues, live music and gathering for special occasions," Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said at the time. "We greatly appreciate President Joe Biden’s leadership and partnership with the private sector to increase vaccinations among the U.S. population, especially people of color and individuals under age 30."
The full list of participating Kroger and Giant Eagle locations for the DoorDash promotion can be found at the Ohio governor's office website.