In an effort to address declining vaccination rates amid viral outbreaks, US President Joe Biden has urged for governments to provide $100 (€84) to newly vaccinated people.
The president also announced a rigorous new immunization mandate for US government employees, who make up the country’s largest workforce with over two million employees.
Employees must provide proof of vaccination or be required to undergo mandatory testing and masking.
Mr. Biden, speaking from the White House on Thursday, said the additional restrictions are a result of the development of the extremely infectious Delta strain, which has been exacerbated by a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
According to official figures, almost half of the US population is completely vaccinated.
The money for the vaccination incentive payments may come from the $350 billion in relief funds granted to states and localities as part of the economic bailout package enacted by Congress in March, according to the Treasury Department. The goal of the incentive is to “increase immunization rates, safeguard communities, and save lives.”