New York City mayor launches $100 COVID-19 vaccine referral bonus program

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New York City will launch a $100 vaccine referral bonus program to boost the rate of vaccinations in the city, which have slowed in recent weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.

For every unvaccinated person an organization brings in to get the Covid-19 shot, the community group gets $100 per person, up to $20,000, de Blasio said. The program will start on Wednesday.

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“We want to incentivize these great community-based organizations to bring in folks who just haven’t gotten around to it now, maybe had some hesitancy, de Blasio said. “The time is right to bring them in.

De Blasio is trying to reach a goal of 5 million vaccinated by the end of June, which he warned earlier this month that the city might not hit. Only 3.9 million people are fully-vaccinated, with 4.5 million receiving at least one dose.

Vaccinations are spread unevenly across boroughs and age groups: Nearly 60 percent of Manhattan is fully vaccinated, compared to 38 percent in the Bronx. While 73 percent of people age 65 to 74 are vaccinated across the city, only 41 percent of people age 18 to 24 are vaccinated.

De Blasio said the city’s senior centers re-opened on Monday and that the city would hold a parade to honor health-care and other essential workers on July 7.

Read more: US has administered 308.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines: CDC

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