Starting Friday, any New York City resident who gets a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a city-run vaccination site will receive $100.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday the new Covid-19 incentive as the city experienced a steady increase in Covid-19 cases over the past several weeks.
The incentive is open to all city residents and employees who have not yet received a first vaccine dose.
Those with an email address will immediately be issued a $100 digital debit card upon receiving their first Covid-19 vaccine at a site run by the city. Those without an email address will be mailed a physical prepaid debit card, said Rachel Loeb, president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
Anyone who does not want the money can choose another incentive, such as New York City Football Club tickets, Brooklyn Cyclones tickets, NYC Ferry 10-ride pass and more.
The incentives were announced as the virus’ highly contagious Delta variant helped send daily Covid-19 case rates higher and spurred the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue new mask guidance.
To date, New York City has administered nearly 10 million vaccine doses. More than 4.9 million New Yorkers (comprising over 59% of the city’s overall population) have received at least one dose, de Blasio said during the press conference.
When asked what he would say to New Yorkers who got vaccinated early without needing any incentive, de Blasio said: “Anyone who got vaccinated previously, I’m one of those people – congratulations, you got vaccinated, you were protected from Covid, it was free, it was the right thing to do for yourself, for your family, for your community – you did the right thing. And the reward is, you were kept safe.”
De Blasio said Monday that he’s expanding the city’s Covid-19 mandate to require the entire municipal workforce to get vaccinated or start weekly testing by September 13.
The mandate will cover employees in the school system, as well as police and fire departments, the mayor said. The city has about 340,000 employees.
Regarding whether the city would mandate Covid-19 vaccines for children over the age of 12, de Blasio said city health officials continue to “constantly look at the data and the science” and will make any future decisions accordingly.
The announcements were made ahead of next month’s “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” a star-studded event celebrating the reopening of New York City, once the epicenter of the nation’s Covid-19 pandemic.
Attendees will be screened for proof of vaccination upon arrival. De Blasio said that anyone using a forged vaccination card could be charged with a crime.