Stimulus checks: Would a $1,500 payment make you more likely to get a COVID vaccine?

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TAMPA (WFLA/NEXSTAR) – Former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate John Delaney has suggested giving Americans who are willing to take a coronavirus vaccine a $1,500 stimulus check.

No vaccines have yet been approved for distribution in the United States, though that may change in the coming days. The initial expectation is that supply will fail to meet the demand for the shot. But once there is sufficient supply, some officials fear holdouts will prevent widespread immunity that would allow us to reach herd immunity.

“The faster we get 75 percent of this country vaccinated, the faster we end COVID and the sooner everything returns to normal,” Delaney said in an interview with CNBC.

Congress has worked for months to come to an agreement on the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s clear coronavirus relief is needed and it’s time to make a deal.

McConnell urged lawmakers to sign off on issues both sides agree on while the others are hashed out.

“There are many important policies that have strong bipartisan support. There are many others that do not,” he said.

The Kentucky Republican noted “compromise is within reach” and seemed to echo recent statements from President-elect Joe Biden that now is the time to act.

If no agreement can be reached in the next few months, pressure for a deal will fall on Biden’s new administration. Economic recovery is listed as one of the “day one priorities” on the Biden-Harris transition website. There is no direct mention of stimulus checks on the economic recovery plan outlined.

However, the president-elect has said that “we must spend whatever it takes, without delay, to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequence,” but he did not specify a stimulus payment amount.

At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control met this week to decide who should be first in line to get vaccinated.

Polls have shown however only 44 percent of Americans said they would get a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes widely available. 

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