Workers at several companies are being offered money if they are vaccinated against COVID-19, amid reluctance from some to get one of the vaccines.
Dollar General is giving hourly workers who get a COVID-19 vaccine the equivalent of four hours of pay. The company said it’s one way to remove barriers to getting vaccinated. Salaried workers are receiving additional store labor hours.
Instacart, the grocery delivery platform, is doling out a $25 payment to workers if they get a vaccine. “Our goal with the introduction of our new Vaccine Support Stipend is to ensure that, when the time comes, Instacart shoppers don’t have to choose between earning income as an essential service provider or getting vaccinated,” Apoorva Mehta, Instacart’s founder, said in a statement.
And Trader Joe’s will pay employees the equivalent of two hours of work for each dose of a vaccine they get. The only two authorized COVID-19 vaccines require two doses spaced apart by several weeks. The company is also promising to shift schedules so workers can get vaccinated.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Few companies or other entities have so far required vaccinations.
“We understand the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice, and although we are encouraging employees to take it, we are not requiring them to do so,” Dollar General said in a statement.
But hospitals and others are also nudging employees to get a shot, amid widespread skepticism of the vaccines in part because of how fast they were developed.
Staff members at Gracedale, a nursing home in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, were told last month they’d get $750 if they have both doses.
The county’s council said officials at Gracedale believe “there may be some reticence on the part of some staff to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccination due in part to the rapidity of its development.”
Polls show a significant portion of Americans won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine or are leaning against getting one. The vaccines received the fastest authorizations in history; most vaccines take 10 years or more to develop.
“I am definitely concerned that health care workers are electing to wait to get vaccinated. And to me, it really makes it exceedingly important that we get correct information to health care workers and that we quickly dispense with myths and misinformation,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters in a call earlier this month, adding that data shows the vaccines are “safe and effective” despite a higher rate of adverse reactions in those injected when compared to flu vaccines.
In Texas, workers at Houston Methodist Hospital learned they would receive $500 if they get vaccinated.
“Eligibility criteria will include getting a COVID-19 vaccination, fulfilling our obligation as health care workers to lead the community,” Marc Boom, CEO of the hospital system, said in an internal memo circulated online.
Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas was more creative. Firefighters who get vaccinated, he said in a memo, would be entered into a raffle that includes prices like Airbnb gift cards, Canary cameras, and Aventon fixed gear bicycles.