This story was updated Feb. 11, 2021.

Jan. 19, 2021 -- Target has joined the ranks of other companies — including Dollar General, Instacart and Trader Joe’s — that are offering incentives to encourage their workers to take a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The retailer is offering four hours of paid leave for hourly employees who want to get the vaccine -- two hours per dose. It's also providing $15 Lyft rides each way for all team members to help them get to their appointments. 

Instacart is giving a $25 stipend to workers who get a shot. Dollar General said employees will receive four hours of pay if they receive a vaccine, and Trader Joe’s will give employees two hours of pay per dose.

“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, the CEO of Instacart, told the Associated Press.

Grocery workers, which would include employees at all three companies, should be in the phase 2 group to receive shots, according to CDC vaccine distribution guidelines. States can decide how and when to adopt the recommendations.

Companies can require workers get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but few are imposing mandates so far. For now, they’re creating internal education campaigns and offering incentives such as cash, paid time off, child care, and small gifts, the AP reported.

Nursing homes are also offering incentives to staff members who haven’t yet taken a vaccine, according to NBC News. Some are giving cash bonuses, while others are providing paid time off or other free gifts.

“Some people think if you get the vaccine, you’ll get sick. And some are afraid and distrusting of the government,” Sonya Williams, the activities director at A.G. Rhodes Cobb near Atlanta, told the news outlet.

Williams received the first vaccine dose in December and is encouraging her colleagues to get one. When CVS returns to give the second doses to staff and nursing home residents, vaccines will be available for staff who declined the vaccine the first time. To prompt workers to change their minds, for instance, A.G. Rhodes is offering raffle prizes, including $500 cash bonuses, TV sets, and paid time off.

“The faster we can all get it, the faster we’ll be able to move forward,” Williams said.

Show Sources

Associated Press, “Instacart, others push incentives to get workers vaccinated.”
CDC, “The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Updated Interim Recommendation for Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 2020.”
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”
NBC News, “Nursing homes make big push to change minds of workers who refused vaccine.”

News release, Target. 

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