New York City, NY

New incentives to the city: NYC offers $100 to anyone who gets their first COVID-19 vaccine shot

Desiree Peralta

Beginning Friday, New York City will give a $ 100 incentive to people who get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a municipal clinic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The proposal aims to offer a fresh impetus to New York's vaccination program, which currently has close to 10 million shots delivered but has witnessed a decline of shots in recent weeks.

59.2 percent of the population. According to the city's health department, it is the proportion of New York City residents who have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, which includes 70.9 percent of all adults. The city's Covid-19 instances and hospitalizations are on the rise, with a seven-day average of 653 cases currently reported, up from only 247 cases on July 4.

In a news conference, De Blasio maintained that vaccination is the only way to ensure the city's recovery and defended the necessity of this sort of economic incentive to urge all people.

"In the vaccination centers run by the City, when you take the first dose ... you will receive $ 100," said the Mayor when announcing this program, which will start on Friday.

New York City has previously given a variety of incentives to increase vaccination rates, ranging from $ 5 million prize draws to free hamburgers and fries.

The delivery of cash is not new in the United States, as it has been utilized by other cities to boost their vaccination programs, particularly as a consequence of the recent slowdown, after the individuals most concerned in protecting themselves had already gotten the shots.

In response to the spread of the Delta variety, which is driving infections to increase again, New York City and other municipalities and states have been issuing orders requiring municipal employees to get vaccinated or, if they refuse, to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

New Yorkers can find a vaccine site through the city’s Vaccine Finder or by calling 1-877-VAX-4NYC

The payment is one of several vaccination incentives offered by New York City, which also includes subway Metrocards, subscriptions to cultural attractions, free Shake Shack, and a lottery to win stays at local hotels and a $2,500 cash reward.

New York City joins a number of other cities around the country that have offered citizens $100 in exchange for vaccines, including West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio. A handful of states have also established vaccination lotteries with monetary rewards of up to $1 million.

While the usefulness of those lotteries has been questioned—a research published in JAMA revealed that Ohio's vaccination rate dropped after the announcement of its million-dollar lottery—direct cash payouts may be more successful.

According to a UCLA Covid-19 Health and Politics Project poll conducted in March and April, 34% of unvaccinated respondents would be more inclined to be vaccinated if they were given a $100 incentive, though 15% said the cash bonus would actually make them less likely to get the shot.

Cash rewards for vaccines might be morally problematic and even "counterproductive," according to a study released in January by experts from the University of Pennsylvania and Weill Cornell Medical College.

The researchers argue that paying individuals to be vaccinated “deprives the act of moral significance,” and that paying people would not help them overcome their concerns about the vaccine being produced too rapidly or its adverse effects.

“Cash incentives might reasonably be expected to heighten these apprehensions or raise new ones, as offers of payment are often understood to signal that a behavior is undesirable or risky,” the researchers wrote.

“In a climate characterized by widespread distrust of government and propensity to endorse conspiracy theories, those who are already Covid-19 vaccine-hesitant might perceive that the government would not be willing to pay people to get vaccinated if the available vaccines were truly safe and effective.”

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