BENICIA, Calif. - Free food and videos by famous celebrities are some of the ways U.S. health officials are hoping to encourage young people to get a COVID vaccine as the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide has more than doubled in the past three weeks.
Companies such as McDonald's are hosting pop-up vaccine clinics at certain restaurants in California with low vaccination rates. People who stop by to get a vaccine can get a voucher for a free menu item. The locations in Solano County and Sacramento County are provided in partnership with the California Department of Public Health.
"I think it's cool, a creative way to get people out there getting their vaccines you know a good way to kind of spread it," said Jordan Reeder of Benicia, "Who doesn't like a free meal, you know?"
On Wednesday, President Biden met with teen pop singer and Disney Channel star Olivia Rodrigo,18, at the White House to record a video directed at 12-to-18-year-olds who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Rodrigo, who's known for her hit song "good 4 u" told her14.5 million Instagram followers a COVID vaccine is good for them.
"Hey, I'm Olivia Rodrigo and I'm here at the White House with President Biden and Dr. Fauci," said Rodrigo in a video posted later on her Instagram account, "It doesn't matter if you're young and healthy. Getting the vaccine is about protecting yourself, your friends and your family. Let's get vaccinated."
"I think it's really smart of her to do that because it's going to influence her fans, her younger fans and people who are scared to do it," said Sabie Perez Cruz, a fan from San Leandro who says she's been vaccinated, "I just got my second dose of vaccine today."
At the San Leandro farmer's market Wednesday, some teens said they and many friends are getting the shots.
"Most of my friends are vaccinated I've talked to them about that too," said Maliki Lovingbaity, 16, of Oakland, 'You know, you want to go out, you want to have fun and you don't want to worry about masks and such."
Every state except Maine and South Dakota is seeing a spike in COVID cases including big increases among young people.
The state of California is offering opportunities to get a $50 reward card through July 18th for people who get vaccinated. Details on locations and eligibility can be found here.
Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU. Email Jana at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or ktvu.com.