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Leave Our Vaccine Incentive Shake Shack Fries Alone

And our donuts, too.

Exterior of a NYC Shake Shack

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants you to know that if you get vaccinated, you can enjoy free fries from Shake Shack. And personally, I’m down. Not what you expected, was it? Especially with all the fat-shaming that is going around this 2021. Because if fries are the thing that gets you through the door and vaccinated, then so be it. We all have that moment where we make a choice for ourselves and the future of our loved ones. This is your moment, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed!

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It reminds me of the nationwide Krispy Kreme initiative. The company was and is still offering a free daily Original Glazed Donut just by showing your vaccination card. This offer goes all the way to the end of 2021. And like expected, the fat-shaming was real. People started talking about the dangers of having so many donuts. But what about the danger of dying or spreading a pandemic and making it worse? How about that?

I didn’t hear a peep when Budweiser or Sam Adams was offering free beer. But donuts? Oh no. Food! What shall we do?! Well, we’ll let people choose their donut and beer and take their vaccinated self home. Nothing less, nothing more. And they’ll be safe and as far away from a visit to the hospital for an appointment with a ventilator that will keep them alive. Same thing goes with these Shake Shake fries.

And yes, it is a little sad that incentives are the reason some people need to get vaccines. People could get vaccinated to save lives and as a common courtesy to those around them. But some people are selfish, skeptical, or have a jaded relationship with those authority figures who are trying to reassure them that vaccinations are in their best interest despite a history of mistreatment by said authorities in the first place.

It isn’t just about food, either. Some places are offering discounts, lower taxes, and bonuses to anyone that can prove that they’ve gotten vaccinated, and just like with the Shake Shack fries and Krispy Kreme donuts, I’m not bothered. Because yes, it’s about attracting people to come and get a life-saving vaccine, but it’s also about creating awareness for those that are uninformed or hesitant in the first place and combining it with something they’re familiar with.

So, don’t judge those who need a little more convincing, and don’t feel bad if you’re reading this and Shake Shack is what made you change your mind about getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the first place. It’s better late than never, and every vaccination gets us one step closer to a new normal where we can go out, meet friends, and visit places that we’ve been itching to go to. That is honestly worth it all.

(image: Jeenah Moon/Getty)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.

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