SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — An Illinois lawmaker wants to allow bars to reward people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine with a free beer.
Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-23rd) filed the “Shot and a Beer” bill in the House this morning.
The bill “Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934” to allow a bar to “provide a single drink of alcoholic liquor at no charge to a customer as part of a publicly advertised promotion to encourage participation in any COVID-19 vaccination program if the customer provides proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”
The free beer offer would be good for up to 6 months after a person receives their vaccine.
So far, 60% of adult Illinois residents have received their first dose, including 85% of residents ages 65 and older. To further expand vaccine accessibility, state-run vaccination sites will now accept walk-ins in addition to pre-booked appointments.
In a recent poll by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 57% of Black Americans said they’d received at least one shot or planned to be vaccinated, compared with 68% of white Americans.
Black people make up 30% of Chicago’s population but, early in the pandemic, more than half the COVID-19 deaths. That gap has narrowed, though illness disparities that explain that risk persist, including high rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Black people are more likely to have jobs that don’t provide health insurance or the luxury of working safely at home in a pandemic.