To get shots in arms, governments turn to money in pockets
Millions of people in the U.S. who haven't gotten the COVID-19 vaccine could soon have a new reason to roll up their sleeves: money in their pockets.
President Joe Biden is calling on states and local governments to join those that are already handing out dollars for shots. New York, the nation's biggest city, started doling out $100 awards on Friday.
The president, health officials and state leaders are betting that the financial incentive will spur hesitant people to get the shot just as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through parts of the country — particularly those with low vaccination rates — and as the number of daily inoculations falls sharply from its April high.
Jay Vojno, getting his shot Friday in New York, said he figured some kind of incentive was coming, so he was willing to hold off on getting vaccinated until it did.
“I knew they were going to do it, so I just waited," he said.
Bradley Sharp was among those getting a shot Friday in Times Square. The soon-to-be college student had been putting it off, but knew he would have to get vaccinated because the school he's going to attend requires it.
“I thought I’d come here and get it today and get my hundred dollars because I’m going to get it anyway,” Sharp said.
Other states are beginning programs to hand out money too. New Mexico helped pioneer cash incentives in June and is starting another $100 handout for vaccinations on Monday. Ohio is offering $100 to state employees who get vaccinated.
Minnesota's $100 incentive started Friday, although several people who showed up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to get jabbed with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine hadn't heard about the money.
Vidiya Sami, an office worker from the Minneapolis suburb of Richfield, went to...