Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Community & Society
Published on June 21, 2021
Two SF McDonald’s offering free food as enticement to get vaccinated Image: Andrew D. via Yelp

Roughly 80% of San Franciscans over the age of 12 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and currently 72% are fully vaccinated. That’s good, but not good enough. So in a statewide attempt to supersize the California vaccination rate, McDonald’s is offering a very interesting new combo meal. KGO reports that participating restaurants in the burger chain are offering free food with a side of a vaccine shot.

“McDonald’s California Franchisees are partnering with the California Department of Public Health to offer FREE vaccinations at 70+ locations throughout the state,” McDonald’s said in an online announcement. “Starting June 21, pop-up clinics at McDonald’s restaurants will offer COVID-19 vaccines for our employees, their family members and the general public.”

June 21 is today, but the deal does not appear to be in effect yet in San Francisco. The website lists only two SF McDonald’s as “participating” — 1100 Fillmore Street, and 1201 Ocean Avenue. Both of those locations do not yet list dates for the vaccine promotion, and just say “Details coming soon.” 

Moreover, McDonald’s is being a little cagey around what kind of food they’re offering. The announcement simply says “one FREE menu item,” so that could be anything. And if you’re already fully vaccinated, the deal apparently does not apply. The McDonald’s announcement says that “People who receive a vaccine at McDonald’s will also get a coupon for one FREE menu item,” so you have to be vaccinated at that McDonald’s.

And yes, they are setting up vaccination sites literally at McDonald’s restaurants. That seems like a fairly inventive way to increase vaccination rates. But with the vagueness of the San Francisco timeline and what food rewards are being offered, McDonald’s and the state DPH may have to McDouble their efforts.