New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday a $100 payout for residents who get a COVID-19 booster by New Year’s Eve.
The mayor described the program as a “limited-time opportunity” and “by far the biggest booster incentive program” in the country.
“We want everyone, right now, as quickly as possible, to get those boosters. And we’re going to make it even better for you with a new incentive and an incentive that is here just in time for the holidays,” de Blasio said.
Residents who get their COVID-19 booster shots at one of the city’s SOMOS care partner clinics or at a city-run site before Dec. 31 will be eligible to receive the sum.
“This is the moment. Get your booster and protect your family and city,” the mayor’s office said on Twitter.
The city in July paid out the same figure to residents who received their first dose at a city-run site. Residents received the funds through prepaid debit cards.
The incentive program comes as the Biden administration ramps up its messaging for Americans to get vaccinated and receive their booster shots.
The Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus on Monday became the dominant source of new infections in the United States, accounting for roughly 73 percent of new infections nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Meanwhile, New York City’s health director said on Dec. 20 that while Omicron cases are rising quickly, hospitalizations are not at this time.
“Right now, there are about a thousand people hospitalized with COVID-19 across New York City. That’s about a quarter of where we were at the peak of last winter’s wave and less than a tenth of where we were in the spring of 2020,” health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said on Monday.
The variant was first detected by doctors in southern Africa less than a month ago, and on Nov. 26, the World Health Organization designated it as a “variant of concern.” The variant has since been reported in around 90 countries.
The mayor’s incentive program starts immediately.
“This is the moment, come out in real big numbers, get those booster shots and help make your family safer and help make this whole city safer,” de Blasio said.