The NYC Test & Trace Corps announced today that organizations participating in the ‘NYC Vaccine Referral Bonus’ program, an initiative launched two months ago to encourage more New Yorkers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, have now facilitated over 20,000 vaccinations. The City has worked with community-based organizations to encourage their members to get vaccinated, awarding them $100 for each referral that leads to an individual receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a City-run site.
Since the program’s launch at the end of June, 890 organizations have participated, including 34 organizations that have each reached 200 referrals and earned $20,000, the cap on available bonuses for each organization’s outreach efforts. Over the course of the program, NYC Test & Trace has trained 242 people from referral organizations on outreach tactics and vaccine education and collaborated in 305 events with 120 of the referral organizations.
“The tremendous outreach efforts of our participating organizations have brought vaccines to communities far and wide, ensuring we can leap over language and cultural barriers to provide credible information and life-saving medicine to all New Yorkers,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Campaign Director Jonathan Viguers. “We thank everyone who has participated for lending their leadership to this critically important mission and are excited to continue our success with additional partners moving forward.”
The Vaccine Referral Bonus Program will provide a total of up to $4,000,000 in direct payments to participating organizations and is available to small businesses, civic, community, faith, labor PTA, tenant and other organizations. If your organization is interested in participating, please fill out the short application here: http://nyc.gov/VaccineReferralBonus.
“The Vaccine Referral Bonus Program is a great way for us to continue to give back to our community by hosting future clinics, doing community outreach, and providing resources to those who want to get vaccinated,” said Mila Sing, Director of Talent Operations for DREAM RBI. “The $100 reward was a great incentive for those looking to get their first dose and we appreciated the resources that were shared as well as the additional volunteers brought on site to help us canvas.”
“In our efforts to bring wellness awareness to the underserved community, we were able to go a step further and not only educate the community, but also serve as a conduit to get people a step closer to achieving this goal by referring them to be vaccinated,” said Annita Taylor, Founder of Taylor Made Services LLC. “The response has been immense due to the $100 added incentive, as many have stated it will help their families attain healthier food and buy essential supplies.”
“We were able to collaborate with the NYC Test & Trace team to arrange mobile site locations that were shared with our constituents and to schedule appointments for the vaccine at sites nearest to the individual,” said Cheryl Hall, Executive Director of Caribbean Women’s Health Association. “We also worked with faith-based organizations, small businesses in the area, and hosted workshops employing the expertise of clinical providers to share scientific data in a culturally competent manner. These efforts made the decision to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine much easier for our community.”
“We continue to explain the science and methodology behind taking the vaccine to members of our community and some people, after hearing about the science, change their perspective from, ‘NO’ to, ‘I will think about it,’” said Myra Van Moore, Local Lay Leader ofWilliams Institutional CME. “In recent days, people have been approaching me wanting to know where they can obtain the vaccine. The $100 bonus adds additional encouragement.”
“The Vaccine Referral Bonus Program has been a great way to reach out to all the hard-to-reach communities,” said Nicole Huang, Executive Director of Parent-Child Relationship Association. “We work hand in hand with local groups, faith-based organizations as well as local residents and see more people getting the shots as people gain confidence in vaccination.”
“Elite Learners joined this program to bring education and vaccination resources to our communities, who are notoriously underserved and at times uninformed of vital information,” said Camera Jackson, Founder of Elite Learners Inc. “Being skeptical of the vaccine can create a dangerous narrative and Elite Learners wanted do our part, as credible messengers, to get the word out about the benefits of being vaccinated.”
“To recruit people interested in vaccinations, we decided to mobilize in the neighborhoods where the buses have been placed,” said PresidentMelina Sanchez of Latino Hope Solution Community Service. “The mobilization consists of distributing flyers in some buildings, in the streets around where the buses are parked and to promote the days they’re available on social networks and the Spanish media.”
“We have a network of membership and numbers on our side, and we reached out to those numbers through digital communications like phone texts and email broadcasts,” said Imam Cheikh Tidiane Ndao of the Darou Salam Islamic Community. “We took advantage of announcements during our religious programs to invite attendees who were not vaccinated at the time. On vaccination day, a group of volunteers from the organization went around reminding those that had previously shown interest.”
“We promote vaccination in mass media, distribute flyers and talk with the Latino community in the places where the city places buses,” said Samuel Sanchez, President of Latino Community Services and Document Preparation, Inc. “We have been participating in ethnic events throughout the summer, including two days at the Dominican Gastronomic Festival. We are here to support the community’s health, for the good of all.”
“We were successful with walk-ins that heard about us on social media, advertisements about our facility, and through our physician talking to the patients at their regular visits,” said Heshy Kahn, Chief Executive Officer of the Rambam Health Center.
“The strategy our company used in attaining this goal of 200 vaccines is very simple,” said Abby Wague, Owner of World Class Multiservices. “First, I announced in the WhatsApp group of Masjids around us to explain the danger of the new variant and how important is to get the vaccine. We gave some examples of how many we lost last year during the pandemic and how some families are now suffering from losing their breadwinners. In addition, the $100 incentive played an important role. Thank you for supporting our community. We look forward to working with you in the future.”
“The Referral Program has been an amazing outreach tool and incentive that has allowed us to do meaningful work in the fight against coronavirus,” said Wayne Devonish, Founder and Chairman of 500 Men. “We feel empowered and honored to be a part of this exceptional initiative.”
“We truly hoped to encourage individuals to do the right thing to protect themselves and their beloveds,” said Kone Assetou, Owner of Don’t Forget Children. “From street and hospital outreach to the use of social media to spread awareness, the message was clear and helped us in reaching more than 200 people.”
“Our Volunteers and staff conducted door-to-door campaigns providing accurate information to answer questions, address misinformation and fear about the COVID-19 vaccine, and persuade people to get vaccinated,” said Jafar Danesi, CEO of Policy Research International. “The referral money provided us funding that enabled us expand our COVID-19 public education, crisis counseling and referral services in New York City.”
“We’re very glad to take part in the Vaccine Referral Bonus Program to provide our staff and patrons have a convenient way to find vaccinations,” said Shakib Farah, co-owner of Safari Restaurant. “The Program helped us send our beloved community to get vaccinated, so they can save lives and help all New Yorkers to get back to business and beat this pandemic together.”
The Test & Trace Corps is the City’s comprehensive effort to test, trace, and provide support for every case of COVID-19 and every person exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Test & Trace Corps allows the City to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus and then rapidly track, assess, and quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. To help all New Yorkers safely separate at home and monitor their health status, the Take Care pillar of the Test & Trace Corps also offers free hotel rooms with wraparound services for New Yorkers who are unable to safely separate in their own homes. For those safely separating at home, contact tracers perform daily calls and conduct in-person visits as necessary. These calls allow tracers to gauge the progress of cases, ensure proper compliance with separation protocol, and connect people to more supportive services as necessary. Today, 97% of all COVID-19 cases and 95% of contacts reported following isolation and quarantine requirements.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.