NYC vax campaign with $100 incentive yields 50K recipients

by Ricky Rillera

| Photo by CDC on Unsplash

NEW YORK – In a campaign to have New Yorkers vaccinated and mitigate the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, Mayor Bil de Blasio has reported today that 50,000 New Yorkers have received the $100 vaccine incentive at City-run vaccine sites. A majority of the $100 cards went to New Yorkers of color.

Mayor Bill de Blasio | PDM File Photo

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is easy, safe, and even comes with a bonus $100 at City-run sites,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m thrilled 50,000 New Yorkers have taken advantage of this incentive so far. This is clearly a smart, effective way to drive up vaccination rates. It’s proof that more cities and states across the country should follow President Biden’s urging to adopt New York City’s $100 incentive.”

According to data at City-run vaccination sites, of the 50,000 people who have received the $100 incentive, 43% self-identified as Hispanic, 21% as Black, 13% as Asian, 9% as White, 5% as other, and 7% preferred not to say. In addition, 23% of those who selected to receive $100 are under 18, 36% are 18-34, 38% are 35-64, 3% are 65-74 and 1% are over 75.

According to USAFacts, as of Aug. 10, 2021, in New York, 12,544,453 people or 64% of the state have received at least one dose. Overall, 11,265,249 people, or 57% of New York’s population, have been fully vaccinated.

Citywide, as of Aug. 11, 2021, of its population of 8,336,8176, 5,154,466 people or 62% have received at least one dose compared to 4,662,878 or 56%t fully vaccinated. Of all the five boroughs, the Bronx, with a population of 1,421,021, has the lowest percentage at 53% or 757,546 have received one dose, and 47% or 665,674 are fully vaccinated.

“We’re excited to see the positive outcomes our City’s $100 incentive for first shots is having on our vaccination rates,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog. “Regardless of the motive, the ultimate reward is protecting themselves and their loved ones from the threats of COVID-19 and its Delta variant.”

“One hundred bucks is great, but the real reward is protection against COVID-19 and more safely returning to the things we love,” said First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “I encourage all New Yorkers to continue to take advantage of this incentive and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination is our path out of this pandemic, and it saves lives.”

“As a physician, I’m pleased to see more and more New Yorkers get their COVID-19 vaccine, which is still proven to be the safest defense against serious illness against this terrible virus,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz. “Whether it’s after a thoughtful conversation with your doctor, or to cash in on the great incentive our City is providing, the advice to get you and your family vaccinated will remain the same.”

New York City has mostly reopened its economy after being roiled by the outbreak. Bars and restaurants have welcomed customers back inside their establishments. Broadway requires its audience to show proof of vaccination to watch performances. The cast and crew would also have to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio also applauded more than 30 NYC businesses – from major employers like Related to restaurants and bars like The Queensboro – for requiring proof of vaccination for entry. The vaccine requirements, first unveiled by the City of New York as the “Key to NYC” program in early August, officially take effect during the week of August 16th for indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness facilities across the five boroughs.

“Early adopters of the Key to NYC program are public health heroes. Their leadership and fast action sends a powerful message: New Yorkers will do everything in our power to keep each other safe and defeat COVID-19,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Mass vaccination is the only way to stop the spread – and these businesses are giving New Yorkers more reasons than ever to protect themselves and their communities. I’m proud to stand with them.”

A news release said that the City has embarked on a listening tour to gather feedback across industries and incorporate businesses’ needs into the final guidance. The City will also launch a multi-language ad campaign for consumers and business owners to spread awareness about the program.

Acceptable proof of vaccination includes at least three options: a CDC-issued vaccination card, the New York State Excelsior Pass, and the NYC COVID Safe App, which allows those vaccinated out of New York State to show proof of their status. More details on requirements will be announced next week.

However, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, organizers canceled this year’s New York International Automobile Show because of the surge in the delta variant of COVID-19 and “the increased measures announced recently by state and local officials to stop its spread.”

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