More than 80,000 New Yorkers have received their first COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for a $100 gift certificate from the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a Thursday news conference.
That represents $8 million given directly to individuals who received their immunization from city-run clinics.
“This is working, this is important to people,” de Blasio said. “This hundred-dollar incentive has made a difference.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Ted Long, who leads the city’s test-and-trace system, said that a patient of his in the Bronx signed up for vaccinations for him and his family when Long said he would administer the vaccines in person and that the family would receive $100 for each person.
Last week de Blasio said that the majority of people who have received the $100 incentive have been residents of color. A third of Black residents and 44% of Latino residents are fully vaccinated, compared with 47% and 73% for white and Asians, respectively, according to city data.
He said Thursday that some city workers are receiving the gift cards as well. All city workers will be required to get vaccinated or get weekly testing beginning Sept. 13, a rule that already applies to staff in city health clinics. As of Monday, 58% of city workers have received at least one vaccine dose, according to city data provided to Gothamist.