Beloved doughnut chain Krispy Kreme has found itself wading into controversy after announcing its latest free donut giveaway. To encourage more people to roll up their sleeves, Krispy Kreme on Monday announced it would be giving away free doughnuts to those who have received their COVID-19 vaccine. However, the offer quickly stirred controversy on social media.
Krispy Kreme first announced the offer on Twitter, sharing with donut lovers that they would "like to show sweet support to those who have received the COVID-19 Vaccine." The chain announced that beginning Monday, those who show their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, which people receive after getting their vaccine, will score a free Original Glazed doughnut. The deal is set to run through 2021, and rather than being a one-time deal, the offer allows those who have been vaccinated to go back each day for a free doughnut.
We'd like to show sweet support to those who have received the COVID-19 Vaccine. Starting today, bring your Vaccine Card to a Krispy Kreme shop and get 1 FREE Original Glazed doughnut. No chance to get your Vaccine? This will run thru end of 2021. Info at https://t.co/gWnWhXOKKq pic.twitter.com/UqmDLne5E9— Krispy Kreme (@krispykreme) March 22, 2021
While the offer was applauded by many hoping to see more people get their vaccine, many more took issue with it. Many pointed out that obesity increases the risk of severe illness and death, and Krispy Kreme offering up free doughnuts was a bit contradictory. Others took issue that people are expected to show their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, some even dubbing the offer a violation of HIPAA. Keep scrolling to see what people had to say.
Krispy Kreme offering free doughnuts for getting vaccinated is like Marlboro offering free cigarettes for getting a flu shot. We have an obesity epidemic in this country that is killing us. Corporations that ride the COVID-19 vaccine as a marketing ploy for junk food is terrible.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 22, 2021
"We all want to get COVID-19 behind us as fast as possible and we want to support everyone doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them," Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer, said in a press release. That release also announced the chain will be delivering free doughnuts to select vaccination centers throughout the country.prevnext
For many, the main issue was rooted in the fact that obesity is linked to severe illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "adults of any age with the following conditions," including obesity, "are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19."prevnext
As much as I ❤️ Krispy Kreme, I think that this is completely unacceptable. What business do you have in people's medical records? I admit it's a great marketing tactic in today's time, but I wholly disagree with this on a moral level.— ⭐️ troy (@urnewboytroy) March 22, 2021
Many Twitter users took issue with the fact that they would have to show their vaccination card to receive the offer. On its website, Krispy Kreme notes that "a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card needs to be provided to receive the offer. A sticker stating the guest have received a COVID-19 vaccine does not qualify them for this offer."prevnext
Yea this doesn’t violate HIPPA laws or anything🙄😐— Beards & Cameras 🍀 (@BashingBagpipes) March 22, 2021
Some express concern that showing their vaccination card was a violation of HIPAA, a law the protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed. While the chain has not responded to those concerns, Krispy Kreme assures customers on its website that "Krispy Kreme team members will not document nor take pictures of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card as it contains personal information."prevnext
Vaccinated from Covid, but here’s some diabetes.— Throw Up & Theology (@revlaurelj) March 22, 2021
Some people also were upset that they would have to be vaccinated to receive the offer. A February poll released by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 15% of survey respondents said they will "definitely" not get a coronavirus vaccine, with an additional 17% stating that they will "probably not" get the vaccine.prevnext
In order to help fight this deadly pandemic, we'll help contribute to the number one cause of death in the USA: Heart Disease!— Ⓥ🌹 #NinaTurner for Congress 🌹Ⓥ (@tulkoju) March 22, 2021
"We understand that choosing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a highly personal decision," Krispy Kreme states on its website. "We advise all employees and guests to consult with their healthcare provider regarding whether to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination and which vaccine to receive after reviewing the available information."
For those not wishing to get a vaccine but still wanting to snag a free doughnut, they can visit Krispy Kreme on Mondays between March 29 and May 24 to receive a free Original Glazed doughnut and a medium brewed coffee.prevnext
Why are people mad? It's one doughnut
Literally ONE doughnut
Five minutes and it's gone, if even that
What's the problem?
Antivaxxers mad lol— Bellatrix (@satanfeline) March 22, 2021
However, not everyone is upset, and some have even hit back at the backlash. One such person wrote, "You try to do something nice and certain people find a way to be offended or outraged. Krispy, when I get vaccinated I'm coming for my free donut."prev