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McDonald’s is pushing vaccinations on its coffee cups and delivery orders

The burger giant is working with the Biden administration to raise vaccine awareness, including “We Can Do This” campaign ads on the company’s Times Square billboard.
McDonald's vaccination coffee cup
Photo courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald’s wants you to get vaccinated.

The Chicago-based burger giant is working with the Biden administration to raise vaccine awareness with a combination of billboards, stickers and coffee cups.

The company said on Tuesday that it will begin participating later this month in the national “We Can Do This” public education campaign by devoting its billboard on New York City’s Times Square to the effort.  

Starting in July, McDonald’s will begin serving customers coffee in cups with the “We Can Do This” logo. The slogan will also appear on stickers the chain uses for its delivery orders. The cups and the stickers will lead customers to vaccines.gov, where people can learn how to protect themselves from COVID-19 and where they can find vaccine appointments.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it is “committed to making helpful information accessible to our customers” and notes that people are encouraged to share the campaign using the hashtag #WeCanDoThis.

“We all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones and be together with our communities again,” Genna Gent, McDonald’s USA vice president for global public policy and government relations, said in a statement. “McDonald’s is excited to be doing our part for the people we serve, providing them with simple information that can help keep them safe.”

The U.S. has administered 261.6 million doses of vaccines, and nearly 60% of U.S. adults have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including 84% of people over 65, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rate of vaccinations is a big reason why cases have declined in recent days—the seven-day moving average of new coronavirus cases has fallen to about 38,000 on Sunday from almost 70,000 on April 17, according to federal data.

Yet vaccine hesitancy remains a concern as the country tries to get enough people vaccinated to end the pandemic. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 13% of people surveyed in April said they would definitely not get the vaccine and another 6% said they would do so only if required. Another 15% said they planned to “wait and see” before being inoculated.

That level of hesitancy has generated some concern among insiders that doing so would leave workers vulnerable to customers made irate by a symbol on a coffee cup.

Still, McDonald’s has been taking stronger stands on particular issues. Convincing people to take a vaccine that would end a global pandemic after 14 months seems to be an obvious one. The company said its partnership builds on its efforts “to provide for the safety of customers and restaurant crew throughout the pandemic.

“We’re proud to enter this partnership to provide trusted, independently verified information about COVID-19 vaccines to our customers in the nearly 14,000 communities we serve,” Gent said.

McDonald’s is certainly not the first restaurant company to get involved in vaccinations or testing. A manager at a Chick-fil-A guided traffic that backed up at one vaccination clinic, for instance. And Starbucks signed on to help distribute the vaccine in its home state.

Chef Jose Andres, meanwhile, is offering $50 gift certificates for some of his Washington, D.C. restaurants with proof of vaccination.

“Getting vaccinated is easy,” Xavier Becerra, secretary for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “Thanks to McDonald’s, people will now be able to get trusted information about vaccines when they grab a cup of coffee or order a meal.”

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