Schools in US state offer USD1,000 bonus to vaccinated staff

MIAMI (AFP) – Schools in a county in the southeastern US state of Georgia will pay USD1,000 bonuses to staff who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in a bid to protect themselves from the resurgent pandemic, authorities said.

With that incentive county officials said they hope to avoid the “numerous disruptions that were encountered in public education over the past two school years due to a global pandemic”.

“Last year was a challenge like no other for our students and our staff members as we were constantly having to adjust to the presence and possibilities of COVID-19 on our campuses,” Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said in a statement.

“Our students and our families deserve and expect predictability and stability in their learning, and keeping our buildings open and supporting our employees’ health are paramount to these efforts,” she added.

The Henry county school district, southeast of the city of Atlanta, will make a USD1,000 payment to those of its nearly 6,000 employees who are fully vaccinated now or who will be vaccinated by September 30 with one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine or both doses from Pfizer or Moderna.

The money will come from a federal programme to curb the coronavirus in elementary and secondary schools, education officials said.

A nurse shows off a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of the Chatham County Health Department in Savannah, Georgia on December 15, 2020. PHOTO: AFP