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NYC Leaders Focusing On Efforts To Overcome COVID Vaccine Hesitancy

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There's a nationwide drop in the number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19. From walk-in services to incentives, local leaders are focusing on efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy, but will they work? CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

Video Transcript

- On the subject of vaccinations, there has been a nationwide drop in the number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

- From walk-in services to incentives, local leaders are focusing on efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy. But will they work? CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

MARCIA KRAMER: The Museum of Natural History put a 6-foot long Band-Aid on the left fin of its massive blue whale as an enticement to New Yorkers to get a COVID-19 shot. But so far, the creative gimmick doesn't appear to be working. CBS 2 cameras found a virtual empty room, technicians standing around, waiting for patients. So the museum is upping the ante.

ELLEN FUTTER: Everyone who was vaccinated here will receive a voucher for up to four people to return for a future visit.

MARCIA KRAMER: The move comes as demand for COVID vaccine nationwide is softening. About 3 million people are getting vaccinated daily, an 11% decrease in the seven-day average. Vaccine hesitancy appears to be a big reason.

- I absolutely do not trust it. The medical system doesn't have a history of curing. It has a history of masking symptoms.

ZENESI SALAZAR: I work at the hospital. But I didn't get it when I first came out.

- I will wait till it gets to herd community, till everyone else to get vaccinated. And then I'll be all right.

MARCIA KRAMER: Now everyone's trying to come up with incentives. The Cigna insurance company is offering its 65,000 employees $200 bucks in their health spending account if they're fully vaccinated, plus time off to get the shot. New York City moved to make it easier for people to get vaccinated, allowing walk-in appointments at all its vaccination sites and relaxing residency restrictions. Now anyone who lives in New York state can get the COVID-19 vaccine in any city facility.

BILL DE BLASIO: You want a recovery? Get vaccinated.

MARCIA KRAMER: New York officials are also looking to up the ante.

BILL DE BLASIO: We're going to make it fun. And we're going to make it easy. And we're going to make it exciting in lots of ways. And a lot more to say on that in the coming weeks.

ANDREW CUOMO: And that's what we're trying to do now. Access, you can just walk up. We'll bring it to you. We'll come to your community. We'll come to your housing complex. We'll come to your senior citizen home.

MARCIA KRAMER: Governor Cuomo announced five new pop-up sites for bodega and supermarket workers. And you can also walk into any state site, like this one here, and get a shot. I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.