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‘It buys a whole lot of candy’: New York City mayor to pay children $100 to get COVID jab

New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio is giving children a $100 (£74) sweetener to encourage them to get a COVID jab ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas, telling them, “It buys a whole lot of candy.”

Children aged five to 11 will be eligible for the one-off incentive when vaccinations are opened up to primary school children next week.

It marks an expansion of a previous policy brought in in July, when New York began offering a $100 reward to adults after the number of people wanting jabs began to slow.

“Good news, kids are eligible for the $100 vaccine incentive,” Mr de Blasio told a press conference on Thursday.

“So, we really want kids [and] families [to] take advantage of that. Everyone could use a little more money around the holidays. But, most importantly, we want our kids and our families to be safe.”

Officials hope the cash reward will encourage children to get vaccinated quickly ahead of the upcoming holiday season when infections are expected to spike.

America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month cleared the distribution of Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11. The decision makes as many as 28 million children in America eligible to get vaccinated.

Separately, it was disclosed that thousands of American spies and intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with their government’s vaccination deadline.

Joe Biden has issued a string of vaccine mandates telling federal employees, contractors and health care workers that they must get vaccinated.

Federal employees who do not comply or have not received an exemption by Nov 22 could face a suspension of up to 14 days, followed by possible dismissal.

Several intelligence agencies had at least a fifth of their workforce unvaccinated as of late October, said Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Some agencies in the 18-member intelligence community had as much as two-fifths of their workforce unvaccinated, he told AP.

Mr Stewart said: “My question is what’s the impact on national security if we do that?”

“You’re potentially firing thousands of people on the same day. And it’s not like you put an ad on Craigslist and have people apply by Thursday.”

Source: Ben Farmer – The Telegraph