Amid rising COVID-19 cases, Meijer on Monday announced college students can receive a £10 coupon off any purchase when they complete the vaccination process at the company's stores. The incentive program runs through Sept.
30, the deadline for students to have their first dose administered at a Meijer pharmacy. Participants receive the coupon, which is redeemable for 28 days, after completing the vaccine series, officials said in a statement.
The vaccines are available through any Meijer pharmacy as well as registering by texting COVID to the number 75049 or going to https://clinic.meijer.com. "Returning to campus is a huge and exciting step toward normalcy following the pandemic that disrupted so much of our lives. But to continue on that path, we encourage everyone who is able to receive the vaccine to take this important step," said Rick Keyes, Meijer president and CEO.
"Our pharmacy teams have dedicated themselves to keeping our communities safe, but there's more work to be done. We're hopeful this incentive makes a difference." The incentive comes as officials work to address increasing virus cases across the country and in Michigan.
The state reported 2,720 new COVID-19 cases and eight new deaths linked to the virus over a three-day period ending Monday. Last week, 6.95% of tests were positive, a 13-week high. On Monday, the state reported 660 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest number since early June.
The increasing numbers come as states in the southern U.S. face surges in the virus tied to the more contagious delta variant. Last week, Michigan joined nearly a third of other states in having "substantial" community transmission of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ahead of classes this fall, schools have started requiring vaccination, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Meanwhile, Michigan's weekly number of people getting an initial COVID-19 shot has risen recently. Through Monday, some 64.2% of Michigan residents 16 and older, or roughly 5.19 million people, had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state website.
Meijer pharmacies have also seen more COVID-19 vaccinations, including a nearly 20% increase in vaccines administered during the past three weeks, representatives said Monday.
"We are highly encouraged by the continued commitment of those in the communities we serve to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them," said Jackie Morse, Meijer's vice president of pharmacy.
The retailer, which was named a state federal retail pharmacy partner and in April launched a walk-up vaccine program at its Midwest locations, has administered more than 1.7 million doses, representatives said Monday.