President Joe Biden’s administration wants to offer a one-time $100 payment to every newly vaccinated American, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced on Thursday evening.
”Today, the President is calling on state, territorial, and local governments to provide $100 payments for every newly vaccinated American, as an extra incentive to boost vaccination rates, protect communities, and save lives,” the Treasury stated in a release.
”The 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,” the announcement continued.
According to recent data published by the CDC, approximately 57 percent of the US population has been vaccinated so far against the novel coronavirus.
”The Treasury is encouraging state, territorial, and local governments to use the funds to enhance their vaccination efforts, including by providing individual vaccine incentives,” Thursday’s announcement states, as the US adopts on a federal level innovative way of boosting vaccination rates.
Of course, individual states across the US have been already offering incentives for people to get their jabs. The state of Colorado, for example, offers $100 Walmart gift cards for those vaccinated at certain locations, while other states are offering scholarships to students between the ages of 12-17.
It is noted that Greece adopted a similar policy earlier this summer in order to boost the vaccination rates among those aged 18-24, by offering a ”freedom pass” of €150 ($180) to each individual.
Biden Administration Determined to Boost Vaccination Rates
The federal government in the US will motivate more federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 also by implementing strict procedures for those still unvaccinated.
The announcement was part of a new push by the President to increase the vaccination rate in America.
Biden is looking to find new angles to convince unvaccinated Americans to get their shots as the highly transmissible Delta variant runs rampant across the US and the world. The surge in severe cases and hospitalizations due to the variant’s spread can overwhelmingly be attributed to unvaccinated individuals.
Biden will be initiating strict protocols for Federal employees who are unvaccinated, but he will also be offering attractive benefits for those who decide to get the vaccine, which include paid time off for the time spent getting yourself or your family vaccinated.
The White House said that federal workers who have not been vaccinated “will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.”
Biden’s $100 payment is the carrot, strict guidelines are the stick
Although Biden’s new guideline for federal workers is not a cut and dried mandate for vaccination, it creates a situation in which being unvaccinated becomes extremely undesirable due to the stringency of the protocols for those who have chosen not to receive shots.
This is why this newly introduced policy of $100 payments aims to significantly reduce the number of those who will remain unvaccinated, as the US adopts this carrot-and-stick approach seen in many parts of Europe, for example.
This particular strategy has become popular in America as well as with leaders in Europe and other parts of the world who do not wish to force vaccinations but see the unvaccinated population as a precarious group highly susceptible to infection as well as transmission of Covid-19.
“This is an American tragedy. People are dying — and will die — who don’t have to die. If you’re out there unvaccinated, you don’t have to die,” Biden stated at a press conference at the White House.
“Read the news. You’ll see stories of unvaccinated patients in hospitals, as they’re lying in bed dying from Covid-19, they’re asking ‘Doc, can I get the vaccine?’ The doctors have to say, ‘Sorry, it’s too late.'”
A recent study on the part of Public Health England demonstrated that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had proven 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant — compared with the staggering 93% effectiveness against the Alpha variant, which was the first mutation to be detected in the UK.
After just one dose, however, the vaccine only provided 33% protection against the variant, pointing to a need to get that second shot if one has already begun the vaccination process.
ECDC officials stated earlier this week that the Delta coronavirus mutation is 40%-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom.