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'Shot and Chaser' brews more vaccinations than clinics

Resurgence Brewing Co.

Like many parts of the country, Erie County has gotten kind of stuck in a rut with vaccinations. Appointments at many Buffalo-area clinics were lagging...until the offer of free beer."Give people a beer, they tend to show up," said Jeff Ware, owner of Resurgence Brewery Co. in Buffalo.

Over the weekend, there was a line out the door to get vaccinated next to his towering metal fermentation tanks. It was the first vaccine for beer pop-up in the county's aptly named "Shot and Chaser" program.

"The idea here is you get the shot and you get a free beer. That's the whole deal," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. "We decided it just made sense to go where the people are. We got 10 times more people to get vaccinated with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in just a few hours at a brewery than we would have if we had been sitting in one of our full-time clinics for 12 hours."

He said other vaccination sites average just a handful of appointments per day recently, but Resurgence this weekend they did around 150.

More Buffalo-area breweries will offer the promotion soon. Ware said the beer scene has plenty of reason to support the county's vaccination efforts.

"We're anxious to get back to banquets and parties and a full tap room in a very safe manner as we can, but I think the light is at the end of the tunnel here," he said.

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