President Biden is urging state and local governments to use funds from his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 response plan to offer $100 payments to newly vaccinated Americans to incentivize those who are vaccine-hesitant.
The Treasury Department said Thursday that the payments would provide “an extra incentive to boost vaccination rates, protect communities, and save lives.”
“Treasury stands ready to give technical assistance to state and local governments so that they may use the funds effectively to support increased vaccination in their communities, and Treasury will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services throughout this effort,” it said.
The Treasury Department first noted in May that state and local governments that received some of the $350 billion in funding from the COVID relief bill could use the money for vaccine incentive programs. A number of states created lotteries and did giveaways to try to encourage Americans to receive the shots.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that the city will begin providing $100 to every New Yorker who receives their first dose of a vaccine at a city-run site.
Now officials have urgently renewed their efforts to get more shots into arms as vaccination rates have leveled off and concern grows over the more contagious delta variant.
Nearly 70 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, experts have warned that the delta variant is likely to spread rapidly in parts of the country where vaccination rates remain low.
In an aboutface earlier this week, the CDC recommended that even vaccinated Americans wear face coverings indoors in areas of high and substantial transmission of COVID-19.