President Biden Calls on Local Authorities to Provide $100 Stimulus Payments for the Newly Vaccinated
President Joe Biden is ramping up his efforts to encourage mass vaccination against COVID-19.
One of his new initiatives is a push for people to get a stimulus payment in exchange for getting a vaccine. Specifically, the Biden administration is urging state and local governments to use the federal COVID-19 relief funds they were provided to give people $100 if they get a COVID-19 shot.
If this becomes a widespread program, it could potentially result in a significant increase in the number of people who are protected against the virus. It would also give Americans a little extra financial help as the public grapples with the Delta variant of the virus and with a growing number of local restrictions to fight its spread.
Will Americans get $100 to get vaccinated?
Although President Biden has strongly urged local governments to incentivize vaccination with $100 payments, the federal government is not currently creating a new stimulus program to implement this policy, nor will it be sending states any more money to fund the payments -- at least not at this time.
Instead, the President is urging states to use the funds they received from the federal government from past coronavirus relief legislation to voluntarily implement this new vaccine incentive program. And the Biden administration provided some very clear rationale for why states should take him up on this suggestion.
For example, President Biden cited research showing around a third of unvaccinated Americans said that receiving a cash payment would spur them to action and convince them to get a shot. He also said that past programs giving financial incentives for vaccinations had been successful in numerous states, including Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Finding ways to beat the virus
It seems apparent that a cash payment could make a difference based on this evidence. But there are some people who might object based on the fact they already made the responsible decision to get their vaccines, and they may think people shouldn't be rewarded for being holdouts. But, as Biden pointed out, encouraging reluctant Americans to get their shots would benefit the public as a whole.
"I know that paying people that get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks who have gotten vaccinated already," President Biden said. "But here's the deal -- if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them. We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated."
It remains unclear if states will follow the suggestion of the Biden administration and start offering cash incentives for shots. But with mounting concerns about COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rising, it is more imperative than ever to get as many people vaccinated as possible -- and to do so ASAP in order to avoid hospital overcrowding and prevent even more dangerous variants from potentially developing and gaining a foothold.
If states do implement programs, those interested in getting the $100 deposited into their bank accounts will want to check with their state's Department of Health to find out the rules for vaccination and the process for gaining access to their cash.
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