NJ Would Consider Paying People Cash for Getting COVID Vaccine
Gov. Phil Murphy has said he’s open to the idea of paying people who get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“All options remain on the table. We’re going to do what it takes to get our folks vaccinated,” Murphy had said on Friday when asked about the cash incentive during an interview with Fox 5 New York.
He doubled down on the same answer Monday.
“Are we willing to just basically bribe people to get vaccinated? Everything’s on the table. Literally everything’s on the table, “ Murphy said at a state pandemic briefing.
As of Monday morning, state data showed 3.6 million fully vaccinated residents, including nearly 162,000 who had been vaccinated out of state.
Roughly 4.5 million people had received at least one dose, edging closer to the state’s goal of 4.7 million adults vaccinated by the end of June.
That data showed there is still a good deal of work to be done, state health commissioner Judith Persichilli said at the same state briefing.
To reach the state’s vaccination goal, 280,000 first doses would need to be administered each week this month while 220,000 second doses would need to be distributed each week through June, Persichilli said.
Other states already have been offering money for those getting their shots.
Maryland has been offering $100 to fully vaccinated state employees, while West Virginia has offered $100 savings bonds to 16- to 35-year-olds who get vaccinated, as reported by Time.
So far, incentives for getting vaccinated in state have included the "Shot and a Beer" program for those 21 and older.
Any New Jerseyan who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery can receive a free beer, courtesy of that brewery. There were nearly 40 breweries participating in the program as of Monday.
Among more than a dozen colleges and universities in state now requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning in the fall, Rowan University has announced a $500 tuition credit and another $500 residence credit for students who submit updated vaccination records by the end of summer.
Also as of Monday, the rate of transmission (rT) was at .94, after having gone to an "artificially low level" a couple of weeks earlier, the governor noted. The daily positivity rate was at 3.55%, while 1,079 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.