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California Health Department teams up with McDonald’s to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations

America’s latest big to increase coronavirus vaccination rates comes with a side of fries. 

The California Department of of Health teamed up with McDonald’s this week to provide free COVID-19 shots. 

McDonald’s on Monday opened pop-up clinics at more than 70 of the company’s locations in the Golden State to ensure employees, their families and the general public get vaccinated.  

Individuals who get vaccinated at any of the 70 locations – which offer Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – can receive a coupon for one free menu item. 

The initiative appeared to be a success in its first three days as customers were seen lining up for their turn in the vaccination tent.  

In an attempt to persuade Americans to get vaccinated, the California Department of of Health is teaming up with McDonald’s to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations (file photo)

McDonald's on Monday opened pop-up clinics at more than 70 of the company's locations in the Golden State to ensure employees, their families and the general public get vaccinated

McDonald’s on Monday opened pop-up clinics at more than 70 of the company’s locations in the Golden State to ensure employees, their families and the general public get vaccinated 

The initiative appeared to be a success in its first three days as customers were seen lining up for their turn in the vaccination tent

The initiative appeared to be a success in its first three days as customers were seen lining up for their turn in the vaccination tent 

Since spring, vaccine doses administered in the US have slowed by as much as 90 percent – particularly among young adults. 

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there ‘is a big gap’ in vaccination rates between people aged 18-25 and those older than 25.  

‘As we dig into the data, we know that what we’re seeing is a lower rate among young people,’ Psaki said. ‘That’s concerning, especially with the variant being on the rise.’

In California, only 48.3 residents have fully been vaccinated with 60.1 receiving their first dose. 

The alarming figures led to First Lady Jill Biden traveling to Mississippi to convince people to roll up their sleeves.

‘I’m here today to ask all of the people who can hear my voice, who can see my face, to get their shot,’ Biden said after visiting a clinic at Jackson State University,

‘The president, the White House, our administration – we care about you, we care about the people of Mississippi. We want them to be safe. We want them to be healthy,’ she added. 

In addition, Southern U.S. states are severely lagging behind the rest of U.S. in vaccinating their residents against COVID-19. 

In Alabama, 39.1% of the population has had at least one dose and 32% are fully immunized with daily shots falling more than 90% since mid-March

In Alabama, 39.1% of the population has had at least one dose and 32% are fully immunized with daily shots falling more than 90% since mid-March

Since spring, vaccine doses administered in the U.S have slowed by as much as 90 percent - particularly among young adults

Since spring, vaccine doses administered in the U.S have slowed by as much as 90 percent – particularly among young adults

Of the 10 states with the lowest rates, eight are in the South. States including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming have yet to partially vaccinate half of those aged 18 and older. 

It’s because of these regions why the White House is concerned it won’t meet its goal of having 70 percent of adult Americans with at least one dose by July 4.  

What’s more, health experts are worried about the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which is said to be 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant discovered in the U.K. 

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr Thomas Dobbs told Bloomberg that one of the biggest factors driving vaccine hesitancy is misinformation.

One resident, Angel Devine of Jackson, told the news organization that she hadn’t been vaccinated because she’s worried that the shot won’t be effective against variants.

Studies have shown that two doses of Pfizer and Moderna are protective against the Alpha variant, that originated in the UK, and the Delta variant that originated in India.

Perhaps this is why companies, such as McDonald’s, are getting creative. 

To receive a vaccine at a local McDonald’s, no appointment or health insurance is required, and walk-ups are welcomed.

To check for participating McDonald’s restaurants in your area, click here.

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