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Houston hospital offering employees $500 to get the vaccine

A hospital in Texas is offering its employees a cash incentive to encourage them to get the coronavirus vaccine.
University of Florida faculty and staff members 65 and older are now eligible to receive the...
University of Florida faculty and staff members 65 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.(WCJB)
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 5:47 PM EST
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(WVLT/CBS) - A hospital in Texas is offering its employees a cash incentive to encourage them to get the coronavirus vaccine.

CBS News reported that Houston Methodist’s 26,000 workers across the eight-hospital system are eligible for a $500 bonus if they get it.

The system’s president, Dr. Marc Bloom, told workers in an email last week that the bonus was “a thank you for your perseverance throughout a difficult 2020.”

Houston Methodist’s 26,000 workers can look forward to some extra cash in March — as long as they get a COVID-19 vaccine. This isn’t the first time the hospital has given bonuses. According to CBS, employees received another $500 bonus for their work during the pandemic six weeks ago.

About half of Houston Methodist’s employees signed up to get the vaccine immediately, with thousands more expected to follow suit, according to Roberta Schwartz, the hospital system’s executive vice president.

“There is a small minority of staff who I have spoken to on the floor who are reluctant,” Schwartz told CBS MoneyWatch. That includes some who are waiting to see how others fare first, others who have concerns about vaccines generally and then a few with qualms about coronavirus vaccine in particular, she said.

Paying people to get the vaccine, and thus jumpstart herd immunity, has been proposed by others. In early December, former congressman, and 2020 presidential candidate, John Delaney suggested paying Americans to get more people to take the vaccine.

At the time of Delaney’s statement, Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. vaccine development effort, told CNN that early data on the Pfizer and Moderna shots suggest about 70% of the population would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

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