Trader Joe's, Instacart to offer employees incentives to get COVID-19 vaccines

Companies don't want employees to chose between going to work and getting vaccinated

A growing number of essential businesses don't want their employees to choose between going to work or getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, Trader Joe's and Instacart joined Dollar General in offering financial incentives to their workers -- deemed essential during the pandemic -- to encourage them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The move comes as grocery workers and other essential employees prepare to be next in line for Moderna and Pfizer's COVID-19 shots.

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Beginning Feb. 1, Instacart will offer a $25 stipend for all eligible employees including shift leads, in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers.

The vaccine support stipend is "to ensure that, when the time comes, you don’t have to choose between earning income as an essential service provider or getting vaccinated," the company said in its announcement.

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Since the start of the pandemic, more than 500,000 Instacart shoppers have worked to meet a surge in demand for online grocery shopping as the virus continues to keep shoppers out of stores.

DOLLAR GENERAL WILL PAY WORKERS TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE

Likewise, grocery chain Trader Joe’s, which has more than 50,000 employees, announced that it will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine. The Monrovia, California-based company said it will also shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated.

Their announcements came just 24 hours after Dollar General issued an incentive to encourage its team to receive the vaccine when it’s available to them.

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The discount retailer, which has more than 16,900 stores in 46 states, announced it will be providing frontline hourly team members with a one-time payment that's equivalent to four hours of regular pay.

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"We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work, so we are working to remove barriers," Dollar General said in a statement. These hurdles may include travel time, gas milage and child care needs, the company explained.

Dollar General is also working with its distribution and transportation teams "to make similar accommodations for those teams."

TRADER JOE'S DISCLOSES CORONAVIRUS INFECTION RATES AFTER REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GROCER RISK

Last month, a federal advisory panel recommended that people 75 and older and essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers should be given the vaccine next.

They are considered at very high risk of infection because their jobs are critical and require them to be in regular contact with other people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.