Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker praises the budget passed by the lawmakers during a news conference in his office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Get the shot, then relax with a shot, or a beer.

That's the incentive for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 under legislation Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Wednesday.

The Democrat's action came on the same day President Joe Biden announced a “month of action,” including beer, sports tickets, and other lures, to get people in line for the needle and meet his goal of having 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4.

“Not only will the vaccine protect you from getting sick — your free COVID-19 shot can now get you a free shot of your choosing or whatever drink suits your palate,” Pritzker said in a prepared statement.

The Illinois plan, sponsored by Rep. Mike Zalewski of Riverside and Sen. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, both Democrats, intends to draw customers back to the bar by offering a free drink with proof of vaccination.

It also extends the pandemic-era law that allows the sale of cocktails for pickup or delivery, which helped liquor sellers through the crisis which closed many business doors.

“Any tool we can provide to help keep this vibrant industry going while they are rebuilding is critical," Feigenholtz said.

Illinois Department of Public Health officials announced Wednesday another day of lower case totals, with 478 newly confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus and nine additional deaths.

That makes for 22,842 deaths in the 15 months of the pandemic in Illinois, with 1,383,065 cases.

Hospitals statewide are still treating 1,013 inpatients for COVD-19, of whom 278 were in intensive-care units and 150 on ventilators.

Health care providers have administered 11,338,305 vaccine shots, which include first and second doses for those medicines that require more than one. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 41,234 doses.


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