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Detroit offering $50 to anyone who drives a resident to get vaccinated

A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Detroit is offering a new incentive for people to get their friends and family members vaccinated against coronavirus. The city will offer a $50 pre-paid debit card to any individual who drives a Detroit resident to their appointment. Mayor Mike Duggan says while he doesn’t support directly paying people to get vaccinated, the policy should help improve Detroit’s inoculation rate.

“I don’t know any place else in the country that’s doing this, so we made up a set of rules and we’re going to try this. We’re in uncharted territory here.”

The Good Neighbor program requires participants to pre-register, and limit carloads to three patients. Mayor Mike Duggan says there are no restrictions on how many people a Good Neighbor can bring, but the city may have to withhold taxes if they make too much money.

“If you live in a senior center - and nearly every one of our senior centers has got about a 50% vaccination rate. If you live in a senior center and you convince your neighbors to go and you keep going back every day, we’re going to keep giving you gift cards every day.”

The Good Neighbor incentive is only available when patients make appointments at city vaccine clinics. Detroit is also resuming the one-shot Johnson & Johnson inoculation, as it works to improve the number of residents who get immunized.

Detroit’s vaccination rate is nearly 30% - about 20 points behind the state average.

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