WASHINGTON: The White House is trying to overcome diminishing demand for Covid-19 shots by offering businesses a tax incentive to give employees paid leave to get vaccinated. The move comes as the United States is set to meet President Joe Biden‘s goal of administering 200 million coronavirus doses in his first 100 days in office.
With more than 50% of adults at least partially vaccinated and roughly 28 million vaccine doses being delivered each week, demand has eclipsed supply as the constraining factor to vaccinations in much of the country.
Over the last week, the pace of inoculation in the US has slowed slightly. That is partly a reflection of disruptions from the “pause” in administration of the Johnson & Johnson shot for a safety review, but also of softening interest for vaccines in many places even as eligibility has been opened to all those older than 16.
As the vaccination program progresses, the administration believes it will only get more difficult to sustain the current pace of about 3 million shots per day. Roughly 130 million Americans have yet to receive one dose.
In a White House speech on Wednesday, Biden will discuss efforts to expand vaccine distribution and access in his first three months in office, and outline his administration’s latest plans to motivate more Americans to get shots.
Surveys have shown that vaccine hesitancy has declined since the rollout of the shots, but administration officials believe they have to make getting vaccinated easier and more appealing, particularly for younger Americans who are less at risk from the virus and do not feel the same urgency to get a shot. That means providing incentives and encouragement to get vaccinated, as well as reducing the friction surrounding the vaccination process.
Biden is announcing the launch of a tax credit for small businesses to provide paid leave for those getting vaccinated or potentially needing to take time off to recover from side effects. Paid for through the $1.9 trillion virus relief package passed last month, the tax change would provide a credit of up to $511 per day, per employee

Share.

Comments are closed.