250,000 New Yorkers Received $100 to get Vaccinated: Mandates and Incentives Work, Mayor Says
By Yehudit Garmaise
Since New York City started giving out $100 to residents who stepped up to get vaccinated, a whopping 250,000 New Yorkers have been motivated to get at least their first coronavirus doses.
The mayor noted that, while the idea of $100 incentives “caught like wildfire” in particular, in the city’s Latino community, which has comprised 45% of the recipients of the incentive. In fact, the Latino community, which previously showed very low vaccination rates, grew to be the city's second-most vaccinated demographic since the $100 incentives were first offered in July.
The $100 incentive was so appealing, the mayor said, that “the same day, President Biden grabbed onto the idea, and said, ‘This is something we have to do all over the country.'"
The Key to NYC vaccine requirement to get into restaurants, indoor entertainment, and fitness centers, the mayor said, has also been successful in motivating the vaccinations of many 18 to 35-year-old New Yorkers, who have comprised 40% of the recipients of the $100 bonus to be able to participate in city life.
“The whole idea was to reach people who weren’t getting reached, and it worked like a charm,” said the mayor, who also mentioned the Referral Bonus Initiative, in which community organizations, houses of worship, businesses, restaurants, and barber shops also receive $100 for providing vaccinations to their customers and members, who each receive $100 after receiving their shots.
“We want to go where the people are,” the mayor said. “If a barbershop wants to provide vaccinations and get more people safe: we want to reward them with a $100 referral bonus for each person they bring in.”
In all, the city has spent $25 million to vaccinate another quarter million New Yorkers, and the mayor said that it is “money well-spent.”
When a reported asked the mayor how he felt about spending so much money to get New Yorkers to get vaccinated, when it seems that simple common sense, plus the severity of the pandemic would motivate residents to get their shots, the mayor said that the incentives were necessary because, “People have been fed a non-stop diet of misinformation.”
Although the mayor blamed the source of vaccine misinformation on former President Donald Trump, who actually was responsible for fast-tracking the vaccines’ availability, some in the community say that the source of their distrust of COVID studies and statistics comes from the increasingly shameless liberal bias of the mainstream media.
Either way, everyone agrees that distrust of media reporting is at an all-time high, which has resulted in 70 million Americans who remain unvaccinated, despite a deadly global pandemic that has persisted for 19 months.
Another interesting source of the distrust of the media and the healthcare profession, the mayor said, comes from what he has seen in his lifetime as "a movement of too little questioning of authority to too much.”
“Many Americans have an inability to hear the healthcare workers when they are telling the truth,” Mayor de Blasio said. “That is a reflection of the times we are living in.
"People should have a little bit more respect out there for those who are offering them the truth."
The city can clearly see the effects of the higher vaccination rate in the reduction of the COVID positivity rate and in the reduction of hospitalization rate, said the mayor, who added that one of the most important mandates the mayor said the city has made was a mandate for the adults who work in public schools to get their shots.
“Our parents needed to know their children would be safe,” the mayor said. “They entrust us with their children.”
In New York City, because of these mandates, now 95% of the employees of the Department of Education (DOE) are vaccinated.
Although the remaining 5% of teachers, the DOE said, will be welcomed back to work once they are vaccinated, from today onward, they will be put on unpaid leave.
“Here is my message to all the mayors and governors in America,” Mayor de Blasio said. “Put these mandates in place. Put these incentives in place. Do it now. Do the things that people will respond to.”
The mayor said the mandates and incentives could “save lives, and ultimately, save this country from a longer crisis that could hold us down for months or even years."