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Chef José Andrés Offering $50 Gift Cards to Vaccinated Customers of His D.C. Restaurants

·3-min read

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Chef José Andrés

José Andrés is offering a sweet deal to Washington, D.C. residents that receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days and weeks.

On Friday, the celebrity chef, 51, announced on Twitter that any customers of his ThinkFoodGroup restaurants that show proof that they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus will receive a $50 gift card. The deal runs only at ThinkFoodGroup establishments in the nation's capital until 70 percent of the U.S. population is vaccinated.

"Ok! We want everyone vaccinated! Starting tomorrow, until we reach 70% of total population anyone that comes with vaccine papers,that proves that has been vaccinated will get $50 gift certificate for any of @thinkfoodgroup restaurants in the @washingtondc area...," Andrés wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, Andrés clarified that the promotion is only open to people who got vaccinated this past Saturday and on.

"And the gift certificate is for people that are vaccinated starting tomorrow, ok?" the chef said.

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Andrés owns several restaurants in Washington, D.C., including Jaleo, Zaytinya, China Chilcano, Beefsteak, Oyamel, and more around the world. He is also the founder of World Central Kitchen, a food relief organization that made headlines when it provided meals to the National Guard and police officers after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and to Black Lives Matter demonstrators last summer. The organization has also often activated during natural disasters like the California wildfires, Hurricane Maria, and amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Speaking to MSNBC Sunday, Andrés explained why he wanted to use his businesses to promote getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I would not say it's a 'plan,' but it's just one more way that a citizen like me can be helping change the minds of people that maybe are not sure yet about getting the vaccine," he said. "If getting a gift card into one of my restaurants so they can bring their families is the way to convince them to get the vaccine, I think this is my little contribution in my community, in Washington, in Maryland, in Virginia, to make sure that at least we reach 70 percent or above."

"To win this battle against COVID-19, where my teams in the restaurants can feel protected, where we can one day all take our mask away because we know we are all going to be safe," added Andrés.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images Chef Jose Andres

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As of Tuesday, 58.2 percent of the U.S. adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 44.3 percent of the U.S. adult population has received both doses and is fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden has previously said that his goal is to have 70 percent of the adult population receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.