Dollar General will pay workers to get vaccinated.
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The Tennessee-based variety store chain will give employees, considered essential during the pandemic, four hours of pay for getting the COVID-19 vaccine as more companies aim to curb the spread of the virus and alleviate customer safety concerns about shopping in stores.
“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 press release outlining its decision to pay workers who wish to get vaccinated, noting hurdles like child care needs and travel time.
“We understand the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice, and although we are encouraging employees to take it, we are not requiring them to do so,” the statement continued.
Dollar General, which employs 157,000 workers and has 16,720 stores across the country, is among the first large companies to pay its workers to get vaccinated.
Currently, health care workers and individuals in long-term care facilities like nursing homes are being prioritized to get vaccinated in most states. States determine vaccination eligibility.
An Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that public-facing workers at grocery stores be part of the next round, Phase 1b, of vaccines, alongside frontline workers such as police officers, firefighters, U.S. Postal Service workers, corrections officers, teachers and agricultural workers.