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Adams brings back $100 vax incentives—but not for long

New York City’s vax bonuses for booster shots are back.

Mayor Eric Adams announced the return of a popular incentive program to encourage New Yorkers to get their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting on Saturday, New Yorkers who get their booster at a city-run or SOMOS vaccination site by the end of the month will be eligible for the $100 bonus.

Under the program launched by former Mayor Bill de Blasio last year, people who received their first vaccination continued to be eligible for the bonus bucks, but the incentive for boosters expired on December 31st.

Now both people getting their first dose and boosters will be eligible for the $100 incentive as long as they get their shot by February 28th. The prepaid cash cards must be used by March 31st.

“Protect yourself and those around you and make some money while you’re at it,” Adams said in a statement announcing the return of the bucks for boosters program. “I also encourage New Yorkers thinking about how to spend their $100 to buy from our small businesses. They have kept New York City running throughout the pandemic and are the backbone of so many communities.”

The city has distributed more than 800,000 pre-loaded gift cards to New Yorkers since it kicked off the vaccine incentive program last July. Officials estimate that 77% of the incentive payments were made to New Yorkers of color.

The relaunch of the incentive program comes a day after thousands of city workers faced potential firings for refusing to get vaccinated by a mandatory February 11th deadline. City Hall estimates roughly 3,000 workers – less than 1% of the total municipal workforce – could lose their jobs over their vaccination status.

A spokesperson for Mayor Adams said information about the exact number of dismissals will be available early next week.

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