Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the city would be paying children $100 as an incentive to receive the experimental COVID-19 vaccination. The declaration followed the approval last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for children between 5 and 11 to receive the shots.
De Blasio spoke approvingly of the incentive payments last week, saying that the city “really wants” kids and families to take advantage.
The drive-in New York and other locations to have children under 12 vaccinated are charging ahead despite medical evidence they have a shallow risk from COVID-19. In addition, thousands of reported serious adverse effects from vaccinations have led scientific experts to urge caution with injecting younger children.
New York City has been offering the incentive payment for vaccinations to adults since July. The CDC approval for younger children led the city to extend the offer to 5 to 11-year-olds. The approval made around 28 million American children in that age range eligible for the shots.
A day after the CDC approval, de Blasio announced that the shots would be available to younger children at New York City’s public schools. Each school is expected to have at least one day when the shots will be open at the school location. A parent will be required to attend the child’s vaccination or provide verbal consent by phone.
The $100 payments for children were announced the following day. De Blasio said that “everyone can use a little more money” over the holidays. Families were told they would receive an email with instructions on claiming a prepaid debit card after a child gets the first shot. Alternative incentives are also being offered, including free tickets to city attractions and sporting events.
City officials announced that around 17,000 children between 5 and 11 received their first vaccine dose in the first week following the CDC approval.