Starting Friday, New Yorkers will be eligible for $100 when they receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a city-run site. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at his Wednesday daily briefing as part of an effort to turn around a slowdown in vaccinations in the city. 

'The only way we're going to keep this recovery going is for more and more people to get vaccinated,' he said.   

So far 9.9million vaccine doses have been administered to New York City residents, de Blasio announced, and overall 54.4 percent of the city population has been fully vaccinated according to Department of Health figures, but infections are on the rise, with a seven-day average positivity rate of 2.55 percent.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that New Yorkers will be eligible for $100 when they receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a city-run site

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that New Yorkers will be eligible for $100 when they receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a city-run site


It would appear that the increase in infections is driven at least in part by the spread of the highly contagious Indian Delta variant, which has accounted for 57 percent of cases recorded in the city over the past four weeks.

'Starting Friday, get vaccinated, get that first dose, get qualified to go to all sorts of amazing things, and get $100 incentive,' the mayor said. 'It does not get any better than that.'

Statewide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced Wednesday that all state public employees will be required to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing, and that he was aiming to work with public unions to have the mandate in place by Labor Day. 

The mayor's announcement of the incentive came as 54.4 percent of city residents have been vaccinated so far

The mayor's announcement of the incentive came as 54.4 percent of city residents have been vaccinated so far

Infections, however, are on the rise and appear to be driven in part by the spread of the highly contagious Indian delta variant, which made up 57 percent of positive cases in the city over the past four weeks

Infections, however, are on the rise and appear to be driven in part by the spread of the highly contagious Indian delta variant, which made up 57 percent of positive cases in the city over the past four weeks 

The move came three days after the mayor announced that he was expanding vaccine requirements to all 314,000 city employees, not just those in Health and Human Services and those in 'congregate and residential settings' by Sept. 13.  

'We've talked the last few days about mandates, and there's no question in my mind mandates are a crucial part of the solution,' de Blasio said Wednesday, 'but we also still believe in incentives.'

Municipal employees who remain unvaccinated will be required to wear masks at all times.


'We unfortunately have to be very tough if a city government employee does not wear masks indoors if they're unvaccinated,' de Blasio said, with health officials later announcing that those who do not wear masks may be put on leave.

Last week, the mayor announced that employees at the city's public hospitals and in Health Department community clinics would be required to get their vaccinations by next Monday, or begin submitting to weekly COVID tests.

And those in publicly-run residential or congregate care facilities, like nursing homes, would be required to present a proof of vaccination by August 16 or submit to weekly tests.

The $100 incentive will be available at city-run sites. Pictured: a city-run vaccine bus in Queens on July 15

The $100 incentive will be available at city-run sites. Pictured: a city-run vaccine bus in Queens on July 15

As of last week, the New York Police Department announced that it had only vaccinated about 43 percent of its force, The Hill reports.

'Since vaccines became available we have encouraged our employees, especially those who have contact with the public, to get vaccinated,' the NYPD said in a statement at the time.

When asked about this low vaccination rate in the police force, de Blasio said the NYPD and 'every other agency [has] gotta do better. We gotta go further.'

To help with these efforts, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that the state is allocating $15 million to community vaccination organizations .

'These orgs have the expertise to move the needle in areas with high positivity and low vax rates,' the governor tweeted, adding: 'We've made incredible progress against COVID - but there's more work to do.' 

Speaking to WNYC on Friday, the mayor reiterated that more needed to be done as the Delta variant continues to spread.

'We tried purely voluntary for over half a year,' he told WNYC on Friday, according to the New York Post. 'We tried every form of incentives. But now we've got to go further, we've reached the limits of a purely voluntary system.

'It's time for more mandates.' 

'We've tried everything else and we got results, but we need more' people to get vaccinated.


'If people want freedom, if people want jobs, if people want to be able to live again, we have to get more people vaccinated,' the mayor said Friday. 

He added that: 'The Delta variant is like a freight train coming on, we've got to take it seriously.'

Over the past month, the average new daily cases across the country have increased by 376 percent, from 11,887 on June 26 to 63,248 on Tuesday. 

Death's however, have remained flat with 406 recorded on Tuesday amid a seven-day rolling average of 290.  

The mayor also called out people who spread 'misinformation' about the vaccines on social media, discouraging people from getting the jab.

He said the city Health Department is planning to write a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, calling on them to crack down on those who spread the false information.

'There are people spreading disinformation purposely for their own profit, for their own fame for their own political gains,' he said. 'Let's be clear, the folks who are out there lying about vaccinations lying about COVID are doing it for their own greedy reasons - not for your health and well-being but for their own aspirations.'

'That's what's going on and it has to end,' he said. 'And those who are enabling the disinformation have to stop. It has cost many people their lives.

'Those who spread disinformation are literally killing people,' he said, noting that 65 percent of the 'disinformation' is coming from social media, linking back to just 12 accounts.

'These people are still at large,' he said and are 'literally depriving people of their lives.'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the Biden administration would continue fighting COVID-19 'misinformation' despite the president's recent gaffes illustrating the pitfalls

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the Biden administration would continue fighting COVID-19 'misinformation' despite the president's recent gaffes illustrating the pitfalls


He asked Zuckerberg and Dorsey to 'kick them off your sites immediately,' saying: 'If you don't stop the lies, then you are complicit in the rise of COVID.'

The mayor said he agreed with President Joe Biden's move to police what is posted on social media, a policy the White House announced last week.

The Biden administration is reviewing Section 230 - a 1990s era regulations that protects tech companies from being held liable for their content, in the way that newspaper and magazine publishers are. 

Democratic senators this week introduced legislation that would require internet platforms such as Facebook and Alphabet's Google to take down health and vaccine-related misinformation during public health emergencies or be held liable for its impacts. 

It would set up the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidelines on what is and what is not misinformation. 

The announcement came after the administration admitted it had been flagging dangerous 'misinformation' to Facebook - such as claims that vaccines could cause infertility - for removal.

Republicans have since accused Biden of acting like a 'Cuban dictator' in the way it was pressuring private companies to censor speech.

'What the Biden White House is doing—namely, ordering big tech companies to ban Americans that do not regurgitate government approved messaging—is what authoritarian regimes do,' said Sen. Marsha Blackburn in a letter sent to the White House.

'The American people deserve to know the extent of the White House’s coordination with big tech. President Biden should waive executive privilege and release the emails.'

Free speech advocates have also raised bipartisan concerns.

'No matter which party is in power, the government cannot be trusted to label "truth" or "fiction" any more than Facebook or Twitter can,' said the American Civil Liberties Union, reminding viewers of how at the start of the pandemic President Trump claimed that COVID-19 would just disappear.

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