This Company Will Pay Workers $1,000 to Get a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will More Follow Suit?

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 7, 2021

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A medical staff member in a face shield provides an injection to a patient wearing a mask.

Image source: Getty Images

Health experts agree that boosted vaccination rates are the best weapon against the new Delta variant. One company is going out of its way to entice workers to get a jab.

It's hard to read the news these days without the words "Delta variant" smacking you in the face. But the reality is that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a turn for the worse. Not only are cases up on a national level, but some cities are already beginning to impose mask mandates and other restrictions in an effort to curb the outbreak.

While social distancing measures and mask-wearing may play a role in limiting the spread of COVID-19, health experts seem to universally agree that getting more people vaccinated is the ticket to seeing case numbers decline. And one company is stepping up big time to entice workers to go out and get a jab.

A sweet financial incentive

Vanguard has just announced that it will be offering its employees $1,000 to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Like other employers, the company is requiring that its U.S. employees show proof of vaccination, and the deadline it's imposed for that is Oct. 1. But Vanguard is also going beyond just mandating vaccines -- it's giving workers a very good reason to sign up for one sooner rather than later.

Vanguard isn't the first company to offer financial incentives for getting vaccinated. Supermarket chain Kroger, for example, is giving employees $100 if they show proof of a vaccine, and other employers are offering up token incentives as well. But Vanguard is really going big in an effort to ramp up vaccination rates among its staff. And given the urgency to get people vaccinated, we may see more companies follow in its lead.

A $1,000 vaccine incentive could be a game changer for the many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck without any money in their savings accounts. That $1,000 could also go a long way toward helping people get out of debt or deal with other financial challenges they've experienced. And for those who are already in a good place financially, an extra $1,000 in hand could be the ticket to a late summer vacation, a mobile phone or laptop upgrade, or even a series of nights out -- which will be safer to enjoy after receiving a vaccine.

Right now, the coronavirus situation is just plain not good. Hospitals are once again getting overwhelmed in areas of the country with low vaccination rates, and the spread of the outbreak already seems to be hindering our economic recovery, as evidenced by the lower-than-expected number of new jobs that were added in July.

A big reason for all of this boils down to vaccine hesitancy. And while some people may be avoiding a vaccine due to fear, others may be putting it off because it's simply not a priority. By giving workers a huge financial incentive to go out and get vaccinated, Vanguard is clearly doing its part to help keep the outbreak at bay. And we may see more companies follow in its steps in an effort to help the country on a whole put the pandemic behind us.

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