City expands $100 vax incentive to include SOMOS sites

homebound seniors
A healthcare worker administers a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at a SOMOS Community Care pop-up vaccination site.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

New York City’s vaccination rate for adults is approaching 90 percent, but the city is still expanding its incentive program to goad skeptics into getting the jab.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the $100 incentive for those getting their first dose at a city-run site is now available to those who get inoculated at SOMOS Community Care locations.

SOMOS, a network of hundreds of health care providers across the city, largely operates in low-income neighborhoods in the outer boroughs where many don’t speak English as a first language. All of the network’s care is paid for by Medicaid, and it touts the fact that its providers “speak your language and understand your culture.”

“We’ve now tapped into this great network of health care providers, and we’re creating the ability for them to vaccinate people in their offices, with the $100 incentive,” Hizzoner said at his daily press briefing Monday. “This is a new way of using the $100 incentive to reach everyday New Yorkers.”

The city has been offering the $100 sweetener to first-dose recipients since July, settling on cash incentives after previously offering everything from MetroCards to Mets tickets to a free ride on the Cyclone. The state recently announced that kids who get vaccinated can enter a lottery to win a full-ride scholarship to a SUNY or CUNY school.

The city and state began implementing mandates this summer after incentives failed to move the needle as much as officials hoped, and the city now mandates COVID vaccination for almost all of its public employees as well as for anyone wishing to enjoy an indoor dinner and a movie (plus other public accommodations).

Those receiving a booster at a city-run site are not eligible for the $100 incentive.