Health Workers and Emergency Responders Offered Incentives to Get COVID-19 Vaccines

Some frontline health care and emergency response workers are being offered financial and other types of incentives to get the experimental COVID-19 vaccines being distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).1 There are media reports that many workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are refusing to get a COVID-19 shot. 2 3 4 5 6 Some employers are offering both monetary and non-monetary compensation as an incentive to get vaccinated.7

There were indications in the fall of 2020 that health care workers on the frontline of treating COVID-19 patients were not planning to get a COVID-19 shot. According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2020, only 63 percent of health care personnel reported that they would be likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine.8 The American Nurses Foundation reported in October 2020 that 36 percent of nurses’ surveyed said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine.9

Cash Payments Offered to Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

Media reports show that employers around the country are offering workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic a range of incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Marc Boom, MD, CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas told the hospital’s 26,000 employees that they would receive a $500 bonus but only if they fulfilled certain eligibility criteria. He said, “Eligibility criteria to receive the award include getting a COVID-19 vaccination, fulfilling our obligation as health care workers to lead the community,”10

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