New York City is rolling out all of the golden oldies from the early days of the vaccination drive during Bill de Blasio’s final few days as Mayor of the Big Apple. Originally the city was pressing people to get their first couple of shots of the COVID vaccines and using every imaginable measure to make that happen. Now the focus has shifted to booster shots, since the definition of “fully vaccinated” continues to change on a monthly basis. They’ve tried slick advertising campaigns, begging, cajoling, and threatening. But if that doesn’t work, what say we just offer you a cash bribe to roll up your sleeve and get a booster shot? Well, if you’re in the city and in need of a little extra walking around money, you’re in luck. The bribes are back and it’s worth $100 if you agree to comply. (MSN.com)
The Omicron variant is now the dominant strain of coronavirus in New York, and Mayor Bill de Blasio says New Yorkers need to move just as fast as the virus…
So he said the city will offer $100 incentives for booster shots between now and the end of the year at city-run or SOMOS Community Care sites.
“It’s going to make you feel a lot safer, a lot better that you got the booster. And you’ll have some more cash in your pocket at the same time. That’s going to be a good feeling, particularly this time of year,” he said.
He also said discussions are underway about possibly adding the booster as part of his vaccine mandates.
This latest knee-jerk reaction from the Mayor is in keeping with his previous scattershot policies. The jury is still out as to how well the current vaccines work against the Omicron variant, though the general consensus does seem to be that the vaccines will lessen the effects of the (already milder) variant, even if they won’t prevent you from catching it. But that’s not going to stop de Blasio from continuing to push these policies despite what “The Science” may be telling us.
The first question that New Yorkers should once again be asking is why the city is seeking to reward those who were hesitating instead of those who were participating. What about the people who went out and did it as soon as the directive to get booster shots was announced? Where’s their money? If you’re going to be handing out wads of taxpayer dollars, shouldn’t it be done in an equitable fashion?
Just as we pointed out when the vaccines were first approved, a policy such as this one runs the risk of causing some negative, unintended consequences. Every time some preventative measure is rolled out, a system of bribes is very likely to make some people hold off and not do as instructed. After all, why should I go get a booster today when I know that I’ll be given cash and prizes if I hold off and do it later?
There’s an even more disturbing possibility waiting in the wings. What if the homeless or other poor people go get a second booster and lie about their status just to get the money? The government is in such a rush to get shots into people’s arms that they aren’t always checking the records carefully. If someone with drug or alcohol addiction issues is hard up for cash, is it really so hard to believe that they would show up at a vaccination pod claiming to have “lost” their CDC card and get another shot just to score an easy $100? None of the pharmaceutical companies are conducting trials to see what happens if someone gets two or three boosters in quick succession.
This all just carries the stench of the government once again throwing caution to the wind in an effort to look like they’re “doing something.” Broadway may be closed, but the pandemic theater is still in operation seven days per week.