The Kroger Co. is incentivizing Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 through the #CommunityImmunity giveaway campaign.
Slated to be launched next week by Kroger Health, the retailer’s health care arm, the #CommunityImmunity campaign will offer customers and associates prizes including five $1 million giveaways and 10 free groceries-for-a-year giveaways each week for five weeks, totaling 50 winners.
In announcing the program late Thursday, Cincinnati-based Kroger said the company aims to encourage more people to receive coronavirus immunizations, in turn helping to speed the nation’s reopening from the pandemic. The effort, too, comes after a collaboration with the Biden administration as part of the national push to get 70% of U.S. adults their first COVID vaccine dose — both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccinations require two shots — by July 4.
“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 in a statement. “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. As an employer, grocery provider, and community partner, the #CommunityImmunity giveaway is another way we are doing our part to help America recover from the public health crisis and safely return to normal.”
Kroger is a national partner in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, which will supply coronavirus vaccines directly to pharmacies nationwide. In early March, when reporting fiscal 2020 results, the company said Kroger Health pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and health technicians had administered more than 665,000 COVID-19 shots to date. Since then, as Kroger Health has ramped up its vaccine supply and capabilities, more than 4.6 million vaccinations have been provided by the company.
In addition, Kroger has incentivized employees to get COVID immunizations. The company in February said it would issue one-time payments of $100 to all associates who receive full doses of the vaccine, as well as provide a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points to hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center workers across its 35-state market area, under an additional $50 million investment.
“To vaccinate more Americans and help bring this pandemic to an end, we all have to do our part, and it’s exciting that Kroger is using innovative tactics to encourage vaccinations among its millions of customers across the country,” stated Ian Sams, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Businesses like Kroger are stepping up to the plate to encourage vaccinations, as we pursue President Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults with at least their first dose by Independence Day.”
Through May 27, 49.9% of the U.S. population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, with 40% fully immunized, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Among adults, 62% had received at least one dose, with 50.6% fully vaccinated. And including adolescent vaccinations, 59.1% of Americans ages 12 and older had gotten at least one shot, with 47.4% fully vaccinated. Among seniors, 85.5% had received at least one dose, and 74.3% are fully vaccinated. Overall, 290.7 million of the 361.3 million vaccines delivered by manufacturers had been administered.