Joe Biden offers Americans $100 to get a Covid vaccine

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The US president said the policy was not unfair on Americans who have already been jabbed - EPA
The US president said the policy was not unfair on Americans who have already been jabbed - EPA

Joe Biden has announced plans to pay Americans $100 to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

It came as the US president also instituted a vaccine mandate for millions of government employees.

Mr Biden said local governments will be able to use $350 billion in coronavirus relief money they received from Washington to provide the $100 payments. He said: "Please, please get vaccinated. We just need to finish the job.

"Today, I'm calling on all state and local governments to use funding they have received, including under the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated."

The president said he knew some people who were already vaccinated might think that was "unfair." But he said: "If incentives help us beat this virus I think we should use them."

He said any US government workers who refuse to get vaccinated will be required to undergo frequent testing, wear masks and social distance, and face restrictions on official travel.

The US government has about 2.18 million civilian employees, and 570,000 others work for the US Postal Service. It also has another 3.7 million contract employees.

There was immediate resistance from law enforcement and postal unions. Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said: "There will be a lot of pushback. It’s going to be an avalanche."

The White House said Mr Biden had also directed the Pentagon to look into "how and when" it will require soldiers to take the vaccine.

Mr Biden also said the government would reimburse employers who give workers paid time off to get themselves and their relatives vaccinated.

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