A group of anti-vaccines, in the USA. (Photo: MATTHEW HATCHER / ZUMA PRESS / EUROPA PRESS)
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has asked state and local governments to incentivize citizens with 100 dollars (84 euros) to advance the vaccination plan against the coronavirus, as reported this Thursday by the Treasury Department. through a statement.
“The president is asking state, territory and local governments to provide payments of $ 100 for each newly vaccinated American as an additional incentive to increase vaccination rates,” explained the Treasury. “Throughout the efforts of the United States in relation to the vaccination plan, we have seen that financial incentives serve as a motivating factor for some people to get vaccinated,” they added from the White House.
For this, the Treasury has an aid plan of 350,000 million dollars (294,000 million euros) to allocate to state governments and has indicated that “it will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services” to distribute these “funds in a manner effective ”with a view to advancing vaccination.
“For these governments and the communities they represent, no task is more urgent than changing the course of the pandemic, and there is no better tool than vaccination. That is why the Treasury Department is encouraging “individual incentives” to those who are still suspicious of the vaccine.
Given this delay in the progress of the vaccination plan, President Biden has also announced that he will oblige all the workers of his Government to demonstrate that they are vaccinated if they do not want to undergo regular tests, and he did not rule out that he may impose a mandate of vaccination at the national level. In addition, he has asked the Pentagon to force all the country’s military to be vaccinated
Other US “efforts” to advance vaccination
This has been made known by the White House in a last statement, in which it has highlighted a series of “additional efforts” to continue with the vaccination plan. So far there are 164 million citizens fully vaccinated, including 80% of the elderly and more than 60% of adults, according to figures from the Administration.
In order to “help protect workers and their communities,” the Biden Administration will “ask all Federal Government employees and their contractors to attest to their immunization status.” Those who do not “must wear a mask regardless of the physical distance from other people,” and take a weekly coronavirus test, in addition to “be subject to official travel restrictions.”
“President Biden is leading his team to apply similar standards to all federal contractors” and “the Administration will encourage employers throughout the private sector to follow this model,” says the White House.
In relation to the Armed Forces, Biden “is studying with the Department of Defense how and when they will add the vaccine against covid-19” in the list of injections that are required of members of the Army. “This is particularly important because our troops serve in places around the world, in many with low vaccination rates and where disease is prevalent.”
In the same way, the Government will reimburse small and medium-sized private companies for the licenses they grant to their employees, as well as to their families, to go to vaccination centers, and in an attempt also to begin vaccinating children from 12 years to return to schools as soon as possible.
“The president will ask school districts across the country to host at least one immunization clinic for the next several weeks,” and guidelines are being given to federal program pharmacies “to prioritize this and work with school districts in all over the country to attend vaccination clinics in schools and universities ”.
Approximately 70% of the American population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. However, the rate of injections has dropped by roughly two-thirds since April, and Biden’s goal of having 70% of the population fully immunized by July 4 has not been met.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 states have yet to supply the two doses of the vaccine to half of their residents. Meanwhile, currently about 1.1 million doses are administered daily, which means that, at this rate, it will take another five months to reach 75% of the population.
As the delta variant expands across the United States, the Biden Administration has to contend with the low uptake of vaccines among younger sections of the population and in more conservative states.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.