OHIO — Kroger is partnering with the Biden administration in an effort to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, the company announced Thursday.
The program, called Community Immunity Giveaway, will start next week and will give customers the chance to win one of five $1 million prizes, or 10 customers could win free groceries for a year.
Kroger, based in Cincinnati, said the program aims to help reach President Joe Biden's goal of having at least 70% of U.S. adults with at least their first dose by July 10.
"The faster we reach community immunity, the sooner we can all get back to enjoying backyard barbecues, live music and gathering for special occasions," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.
Official rules will be released next week. As of Wednesday, Kroger Health said it has distributed 4.6 million COVID-19 vaccines. Kroger Health has more than 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49.9% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 40% are fully vaccinated. Among U.S. adults, half of the population is fully vaccinated.
In Ohio, 44% of residents have received their first dose and 39% are fully vaccinated, according to state data. Ten states have exceeded the 70% threshold of adults who have received at least the first dose, according to White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt.
The partnership follows a trend of initiatives in an attempt to get more Americans vaccinated.
Ohio, California, New York and Maryland have launched lotteries, rewarding residents for getting the vaccine. Ohio was the first to create the Vax-a-Million lottery, which is giving out five $1 million prizes or full-ride scholarships to residents who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the state announced the program, vaccinations have jumped by more than 45%, according to state data.
The Biden administration also launched a program in partnership with Uber and Lyft to give Americans free rides to a vaccine clinic until July 4.