Monroe County offers vaccine incentives for children five to 11 years old- Is it legal?

Are monetary vaccine incentives considered a form of illegal bribery? Rumors of such have been circulating after Monroe County announced children five to 11 years old could get up to $100 in gift cards for getting their COVID-19 shot at a Rochester City School District clinic.

Despite rumors, legal experts say these are incentives, not illegal bribery, according to News 10 NBC.


“Yes, it is perfectly legal,” said Leslie Silva, a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC. “Whether it’s children or adults, there were a number of incentives that adults could take advantage of when the vaccines were rolling out.”

This move comes at a time when only 35% of children five to 11 years old in New York are vaccinated. The clinic will be held on Tuesday, January 25 at School No. 8 at 1180 St. Paul Street, Rochester from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Parents/guardians will receive one $50 gift card for their child’s first vaccine dose, and one $50 gift card when they receive their second dose.

Another vaccine clinic for children five to 11 years old will be held on Thursday, January 27 at School No. 50 at 501 Seneca Avenue, Rochester from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, but organizers encourage making an appointment through the county’s website. You can also make an appointment by calling the Monroe County COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555.


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