New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that the city will start offering a $100 incentive for residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a city-run location starting this Friday.
The money will come in the form of a prepaid debit card given to city residents and workers while they wait during the observation period after receiving the vaccine or in the mail, according to Rachel Loeb, who heads New York City’s Economic Development Corporation.
The city’s website notes that other incentives are also available, including tickets for the New York City Football Club and the Brooklyn Cyclones, a 10-ride pass for the New York City ferry, and a two-week membership to Citibike, among others.
During a press conference, de Blasio said that this incentive will have a "big impact, particularly in a world in which more and more things are going to be determined by whether you’re vaccinated or not."
He added, "we wanted to supercharge it by saying we’ll give you extra, direct personal incentive to get this done now."
De Blasio said, "I personally believe the guarantee that, right then and there, you’re going to be rewarded, I think that’s going to make a big difference to people."
The city also offers a vaccine referral bonus program, which "incentivizes community- and faith-based organizations to encourage members of their neighborhoods to get vaccinated by awarding $100 for each person they refer who gets their first vaccine at a City-run site. When a person makes an appointment ahead of time or walks up, they can select the organization that referred them to get vaccinated. Once the person receives their first dose, the referral organization will be credited $100, up to a total of $20,000."
Earlier this week, the mayor said that all city employees will have to either get vaccinated or agree to frequent testing for COVID-19 by Sept. 13, noting that mandating the vaccine is a "crucial part" of moving forward, but added that "incentives help immensely."
De Blasio said, "we’ve talked the last few days about mandates, and there’s no question in my mind that mandates are a crucial part of the solution, and we’ll keep working on those. But we also still believe in incentives. Incentives help immensely. Both go well together."
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