Biden calls on states to provide $100 vaccine rewards


Joe Biden

Biden calls on states to provide $100 vaccine rewards

President Joe Biden today called on state and local governments to use money from the $1.9 trillion US rescue plan to make $100 payments to individuals to spur coronavirus vaccinations.

The payments will be made to newly vaccinated Americans to provide "an additional incentive to increase vaccination levels, protect communities and save lives," the Treasury said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.

The Treasury said it stands ready to provide technical assistance to state and local governments so that they can effectively use the funds to support increased vaccination in their communities.

Biden officially announced the new stimulus plan during a speech about the coronavirus at the White House.

"I know paying people to get the vaccine may seem unfair to people who have already been vaccinated, but here's the deal: If incentives help us beat this virus, I think we should use them," Biden said. "We all benefit if we can vaccinate more people."

The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which Biden signed into law in March, included $350 billion in funding to help state, territory, and local governments combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury made straightforward in May that governments receiving the money could use it for vaccine stimulus programs. Many states and private companies have already offered incentives for vaccines in the form of lotteries, free food, and other goods.

The announcement represents the latest strategy by the Biden administration to spur vaccinations amid the spread of the most contagious delta variant.

Nearly 70 % of adults in the United States have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, vaccination rates have stabilized in recent weeks, and the percentage of people vaccinated in some areas of the country remains low.

Biden made remarks Thursday afternoon about his vaccination strategy and the state of the country's fight against the virus. He announced that the federal government would require on-site employees and contractors to show their vaccinations or take a COVID-19 test once or twice a week, in addition to hiding and social distancing.

"With incentives and mandates, we can make a huge difference and save a lot of lives," he said.

Earlier this week, the CDC centers recommended that vaccinated Americans wear face masks indoors in areas where the COVID-19 virus is most prevalent, citing new evidence that vaccinated people can spread the delta variant.

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