The White House is offering discounts on groceries to Americans who get the new bivalent Covid booster in a desperate bid to boost uptake of the vaccine.
People who get the Omicron-specific shot at CVS, Safeway, Winn-Dixie, or Rite Aid will get up to $20 off their purchases this winter.
It comes amid a soaring inflation crisis that has driven up the price of household staples. A recent American Farm Bureau report found Thanksgiving dinner this year will cost a whopping 20 per cent more than last year.
The new booster incentive comes ahead of a potential spike in Covid cases and hospitalizations this winter which could put pressure on already-overstretched hospitals.
Health workers are already grappling with the worst flu outbreak in 10 years and admissions caused by the common cold virus RSV — with both surges blamed on lockdowns suppressing people’s immunity to seasonal bugs.
The Covid bivalent rollout has been sluggish so far with just over 11 per cent of eligible Americans five and over having rolled up their sleeves for the shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending aged five years and upwards gets the bivalent booster.