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New programs launch this week to encourage Detroiters to get vaccinated

Posted at 10:34 PM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-02 22:34:55-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — There's new life in the city just as the weather is getting warmer, as more Detroiters are adding their name to the growing list of the fully vaccinated every day.

"I was vaccinated right here at Ford Field," said Detroit resident Bryant Viverette. "Took me like 12 minutes.”

As the state of Michigan reaches 50% with at least one dose, the city of Detroit lags behind with just 30% of it’s residents having one shot. Last week, Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled more programs to get more shots in arms.

“There is no place anywhere in the country where it is easier to get a vaccine than the city of Detroit,” Duggan said.

The city previously launched the "Good Neighbor Program" where anyone who brought a Detroiter to an appointment would also get a shot. However as availability expanded, the program stalled.

“Eventually everyone was eligible for the vaccine and no one had to be a good neighbor, you could get a shot on your own," Duggan said. "When that happened in particular we saw the senior vaccines start to dip.”

To change that, they’re offering a new incentive.

"Every Detroiter that you schedule and they come in for their first dose, you’ll get paid for it,” Duggan said as he held up a debit card. “It’s a debit card, you can use it anywhere, it’s a Mastercard debit card worth $50. Take it, spend it wherever you like. It’s yours.”

Starting Monday, any registered good neighbor will get paid $50 for each person they sign up and bring to get a shot.

"If you’re a good neighbor, you don't have to be from Detroit, you could be from anywhere. But we’re paying you to bring Detroiters,” Duggan said.

Also starting Monday, the city is going door-to-door with a door-knock campaign to promote the city’s walk in vaccine clinics. Some of which are now also offering the Johnson and Johnson shot.

More vaccines and more incentives with the hope of bringing life back into the city, and saving the lives of those who live here.

"Ready to travel again, ready to do some stuff,” said Detroit resident Shatara Viverette.

"The more we can get more people out here and get vaccinated, the more we can get back to normal,” Bryant added.

There is no max for how much you can earn in the program, but once you reach $600 in debit cards you’ll have to fill out a W-9. You also can't bring more than three people at a time.

In order to qualify for the reimbursement pre-paid debit card, all Good Neighbors must pre-register by calling 313-230-0505 and schedule an appointment for each person they plan to transport. Debit cards will be on hand only for those who preregister and schedule first dose appointments. No exceptions will be made.

The Good Neighbor program is only eligible by appointment at the following locations:

  • TCF drive-thru from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Straight Gate Church, 10100 Grand River from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Community Saturday sites (9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Good Neighbor begins May 8)
    • Galilee Baptist Church
    • Grace Community Church
    • Kemeny Recreation Center
    • New Providence Baptist Church
    • Greater Emmanuel Church