Broward vaccine incentive program receives praise from employees – NBC 6 South Florida


Incentive programs designed to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are spreading across the country. Broward County’s version is to give vaccinated county employees a $ 500 bonus.

“I thought it was a pretty good idea,” said Pat Quinn, who works in the environmental protection unit. “I’m vaccinated, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to go ahead and do it and if they’re willing to pay me for it, yeah, I’ll take it.”

The county is using more than $ 3 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funds to give $ 500 to each vaccinated employee, but each unvaccinated worker will pay an additional $ 20 every two weeks for health insurance.

“At the end of the day, over the course of the year it’s a thousand dollar swing,” said Mayor Steve Geller. “You get the $ 500 bonus or you pay an extra $ 520. By the way, that’s no different than what we have for tobacco.”

“If that helps someone get the shot, it’s, I think it’s worth it. My son had COVID, he spent six days in the hospital, 27, so people think it’s really not that bad, yes it’s a big deal, ”Quinn said, explaining that his son had fallen ill before he was. eligible for vaccination.

NBC 6 spoke to a dozen county employees, all of whom supported the proposal, but only Quinn spoke officially.

Broward will pay county employees who receive COVID-19 vaccines a payment of $ 500, while those who are not vaccinated could face a bi-weekly surcharge and weekly testing, Mayor Steve Geller said Wednesday.

The non-vaxxed should also be tested every week. The county hopes the new policy will get many more workers to roll up their sleeves. So is this a good use of federal funds? State Representative Chip LaMarca, (R) Lighthouse Point, isn’t so sure.

“I’m vaccinated, I think it’s the right thing to do,” LaMarca said. “That being said, from an incentive perspective it’s okay, I think it’s a lot of money to spend getting people to do what they should be doing already and common sense says it.”

The former Broward County commissioner also said he was concerned about the punitive aspect of the program. Geller insists this matches state law prohibiting vaccination warrants, and calls it a carrot and twig approach, saying the punishment for not being vaccinated is too small to consider. like a stick.

Quinn, meanwhile, is urging all of his colleagues who work for the county to get vaccinated and ignore misinformation about vaccines.

“There is a lot of information about the vaccine, but I would tell people to trust the science, to trust the scientists who do this, not to trust the people who have no training in the matter.” , Quinn mentioned.

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