In an effort to get more residents vaccinated, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced the “Shot and a Chaser” program, which sees the Erie County Department of Health teaming with local breweries to offer a free beer to those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Thus far, a clinic has been scheduled for Resurgence Brewing on May 8 (11a – 6p), and another clinic will be held at Flying Bison Brewing on May 12 (2pm). You can schedule your first dose by visiting http://erie.gov/covid19/vaccine.
“You come out, get vaccinated on site at Resurgence Brewing, and we will give you something to present inside and you will be able to get a free drink,” Poloncarz said. “Same goes for Flying Bison. We believe we can support our local brewers, who have had a tough year in the past year, as well as get more people vaccinated. We’ve vaccinated a fairly sizable portion of those that are eligible, but we need to do more. Come on down and we’ll get you a free brew and you’ll be able to support one of our local great microbreweries. Get a shot in the arm, grab your chaser of beer and then enjoy the rest of your day.”
If you need a COVID vaccine and like beer, schedule your first dose by going to https://t.co/wz3i55uqK4. If you are a brewery and interested in being a pop up vaccine site, reach out! Let’s do this Erie County! pic.twitter.com/RrCzeyDHWU
— Roy (@jashurley) April 27, 2021
“Flying Bison is thrilled to be part of the “Shot and a Chaser” program. Anything that helps move us back to being together is worth the effort. GET VACCINATED BUFFALO!!!” Flying Bison Owner Tim Herzog said.
Poloncarz added, “Help get on the vaccine train, and if it takes a beer to do it, that’s OK. This is Buffalo, we love our beer. We’ve got some incredible microbreweries here.”
“This is a way to reach people when they are out and about,” said Jeff Ware of Resurgence Brewing. “We are encouraging people to come with a friend or family member, go through the ECDOH vaccine station, and stop over at our Chicago Street location to enjoy a drink, on the house.”
The “Shot and a Chaser” program will not be retroactive to those already vaccinated, though Poloncarz said the county is looking into providing something to those people, or “a keepsake so to speak,” as he puts it.
“I don’t think we are going to be able to provide 440,000 drinks through Resurgence or Flying Bison, or at future clinics, because if 440,000 people show up, we are never going to be able to vaccinate the 350 people we’d like to do that day,” Poloncarz laughed. “Beer is a great incentive to get vaccinated. If this doesn’t work, I don’t what will. Our goal is to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
The county anticipates that these “Shot and a Chaser” clinics will administer both vaccine doses. They are also willing to work with bars and restaurants.
“While demand has slowed for COVID-19 vaccine, there are still people in Erie County for us to reach – we are going to shift to more innovative tactics, based on data and input from the community,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Our department continues to see a significant number of new COVID-19 cases among 20-39-year-olds. There are many restaurant workers in this age group, and group that goes out to eat and drink at restaurants often. We want to make it easy and convenient for these Erie County residents to access COVID-19 vaccine.”
The program is also seeking more breweries to take part. If you’d like to participate, call Jason Hurley at Poloncarz’s office at 716-858-2857 or email Jason.email@example.com to help set up a pop-up clinic at your location.
Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).