According to the Treasury Department, the Joe Biden administration wants states and local governments to provide $100 to “every newly vaccinated American.” It’s the latest official push to boost immunization rates as the extremely contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.
States could fund the payments with money from the American Rescue Plan. Although the incentive is not mandated by the administration, the Treasury Department said it is working with the Department of Health and Human Services to assist governments in implementing it.
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New York City announced this week that anyone who received a vaccination at one of the city’s vaccination stations would receive a $100 reward. On Wednesday, Mayor Bill De Blasio stated, “I think when someone says here’s $100 for you, that’s going to make a significant impact.” The program will begin on Friday.
According to Elisa Sobo, an anthropologist at San Diego State University who studies vaccine reluctance, financial incentives may help persuade some people to get their shot. “Some people who have been on the fence until now will see $100 as a solid incentive to jump off.” However, it will not be a motivator for everyone. “Some people will be offended by the offer, while others will consider it as ‘proof’ that the vaccine is ineffective.”
Since April, vaccination rates in the United States have been continuously declining. They’ve started to rise again as people in states with significant outbreaks — and the lowest vaccination rates — sign up for vaccines.
Today, Biden is set to propose a vaccine requirement for federal employees.