US President, Joe Biden has rolled out new steps to increase vaccination rates across the country.
The Democrat is urging state and federal governments to use a portion of their COVID-19 relief funds to pay citizens $100 to get the vaccine.
“I’m calling out all states and local governments to give $100 to everyone who gets fully vaccinated,” he said on Thursday, July 29. “It might sound unfair to folks who have gotten vaccinated already. But here’s the deal: if incentives help us beat the virus, we should use them.
“We all benefit if more people get vaccinated. In February, Kroger offered $100 to their associates if they got vaccinated, and it worked,” he said. “Vaccination rates moved up from 50 percent to 75 percent among employees.
“New Mexico, Ohio and Colorado offered similar incentive programs that have helped increase vaccination rates.”
Biden announced other initiatives as well, including one that will ensure employees across the county receive paid time off so they can get the shot.
“I hear people are unable to get time off to get vaccinated,” he said. “This is unacceptable. For some time now, (I’ve been saying) people should be able to get the shot and still get paid. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the federal government is reimbursing… businesses to give people time off to get vaccinated.”
Biden said it’s time to take that a step further and reimburse employers who give paid time off to employees who take time off to get family members vaccinated.
Additionally, the Biden administration is mandating that all federal employees receive vaccines, or face routine COVID-19 testing and restrictions on job-related travel.
The federal government is also requiring Veterans Administration Hospital officials to receive shots and is urging contractors to implement similar standards for employees working on federal projects.
So far, 164 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, including 80 percent of the nation’s most vulnerable population.
“It’s an American blessing that we have vaccines for each and every American. We have made it our top priority to have a vaccine for each and every eligible American,” he said. “It’s a shame to squander that blessing.”
This comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced free $100 incentive to anyone who goes to a city-run vaccination site for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, starting this Friday, July 30.