Want $50? Convince someone to get a COVID-19 vaccine and the city of Detroit will pay up


A woman gets vaccinated at the TCF Center in Detroit. - CITY OF DETROIT
  • City of Detroit
  • A woman gets vaccinated at the TCF Center in Detroit.

Things you can buy with $50: 50 2-liter bottles of Faygo (except for Cotton Candy, which is apparently $48 for one), 19.2 coney dogs, 16 family-size bags of Better Made chips, or this Shinola pen — as in, like, one single ink pen.

Regardless of how you might spend a cool $50, the city of Detroit is using some grant money to increase vaccination rates and incentivize the process.

Starting Monday, May 3, if you convince a fellow Detroiter to get vaccinated or escort someone to a vaccination site, the city will award you with a $50 pre-paid gift card through the city's expanded Good Neighbor program.

Per the city's website, there does not appear to be any limit as to how many people you can persuade to schedule their first shot, which means you could be looking at a whole lot of cashola. (However, if you manage to make more than $600 from the program, you'll have to file a W-9 and keep your eyes peeled for tax documents from the city.)

“Nobody wants to listen to Dr. Fauci, or me, or Governor Whitmer tell them one more time to take the vaccine,” Mayor Mike Duggan said of the program. “But they will listen to their neighbors.”

Only 30.7% of city residents have been vaccinated so far, which is significantly behind the state's vaccination rates, by about 20%. Last week, Gov. Whitmer unveiled her vaccination goals for the state, which aims to vaccinate at least 70% of Michigan residents so that the state can lift capacity employment limitations.

To take part in Detroit's Good Neighbor program, you must register as a good neighbor and make first-dose appointments for your friend/family/neighbor. The city says you will not see any money until the first dose is scheduled.

The friends and neighbors you are transporting must be Detroiters and, though there is no limit as to how many people you bring, only three residents per car per trip will be allowed.

Currently, residents schedule appointments at the TCF Center, Northwest Activities Center, Ford Field, and select community churches.

To learn more about the Good Neighbor program, eligibility requirements, and where to schedule appointments, visit Detroitmi.gov.

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