Beers, burgers, books and bucks: Alberta businesses offer rewards for a COVID-19 shot
CALGARY -- As thousands of Albertans continue to roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine, some businesses and institutions across the province are offering incentives or rewards for customers and staff who get their shot.
Cold Garden Beverage Company in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood is trading proof of a shot for a cold one, called ‘Cans for Community Immunity’
“Beer is all about community," said cofounder Dan Allard. “Frankly we just want to be back to normal so we’re doing everything we can to keep that momentum going and we’ll give some free beer to do it.”
Health Canada hasn’t issued a warning about avoiding alcohol intake before or after immunization against COVID-19, writing in an email to CTV News, “None of the current vaccines have warnings related to alcohol intake, as there is no evidence of interference from alcohol intake on vaccination efficacy or safety that would require such a warning.”
Many restaurants across the province are offering similar incentives for people to get their shots.
Milestones on Stephen Avenue in Calgary will give customers 20 per cent off takeout orders if they can show they’ve received their shot.
If waiting in line for your shot built up an appetite, Northern Chicken and Woodshed Burgers in Edmonton are also offering discounts on their meals in exchange for proof of a jab.
It’s not all food and drink though. Glass Bookshop also in Edmonton is offering an online discount code for an order to thank Albertans for “doing their part.”
Alberta company, Bessie Box, is taking these a step further and not only offering people a discount off one of their boxes in exchange for tagging them in vaccine selfie but also promising to give back to charity.
For every selfie the company is also promising to donate the Leftover Foundation in Calgary and Edmonton which works to reduce food waste and excess food city landfills.
In Lethbridge, a COVID-19 shot could land you free tuition.
The University of Lethbridge launched the ‘It’s Worth A Shot!’ contest on Monday where registered student who receive a vaccination before 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 8 are eligible to win full tuition and fees for the 2021 semester.
Some Canadian businesses are offering incentives to employees as well to get their vaccine but that raises some legal questions.
Lorian Hardcastle, associate professor in the faculty of law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, says perks for customers is a nice incentive but there could be legal ramifications when it comes to businesses offering benefits to employees because not everyone can get a shot due to health reasons.
“In that case we might get into a human rights arguments around people who can’t get vaccinated and that be discriminatory toward them” she said.
However, Hardcastle says the same concerns don’t apply to someone who just chooses not to get a vaccine.
Whether a perk will impact someone’s choice, employee or customer, Hardcastle says it likely won’t change someone’s mind who be vaccine hesitate but it may speed things up for someone who plans to.
“What it may do though is it may expedite the process who intended to get vaccinated but who intended to get vaccinated but for example may have not have got around to getting a shot yet.”
Hardcastle says this may even play out more if we get to a point where we have an excess of vaccines but low demand of bookings.