Imagine paying to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Distributing cash to people who have been vaccinated certainly seems like a good way to end the pandemic. But is it really that simple?
Earlier this month, Kroger, the giant supermarket chain, announced that it would offer a reward of $ 100 to employees who receive the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. All you have to do is present proof of vaccination to your boss and you will be $ 100 richer. For those who cannot get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons, completing an education and safety course is another way to earn money.
Since the CDC defines grocery store workers as front-line staples, it’s definitely important for Kroger workers to get their potion (Hell, they deserve to be paid overtime just for having to deal with all the Carens and Kevins on the Anti-Masks Crusades) .
Tim Massa, Kruger’s chief personnel officer said that their goal is to “encourage [employees] to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them to improve their well-being as well as the community.” Will not work. People who have planned to get a vaccine since the start of the pandemic will do so anyway, whether or not they get promised a reward. The real problem is the COVID-19 deniers and anti-vaccination advocates (who lack medical or religious reasons) who spread conspiracy theories and dangerous misinformation. I doubt $ 100 would be enough convincing for those who fear the government will put tracing chips inside every bottle.
This reward system is ineffective. All that will happen is that Kroger will lose a lot of money. The target audience (vaccination opponents) will not be affected and will not be paid. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, only about half of the US population said they plan to vaccinate, which means there is a lot of uncertainty and mistrust holding back the air.
Furthermore, Kroger’s simple financial rewards scheme isn’t the only, or even better, way to ensure Americans are vaccinated. A $ 100 check wouldn’t change the mindset. The best-case scenario here is that the workers on the fence are just lining up for the money. But what’s the point if all they walk away from is $ 100, and there’s no deeper understanding of what’s really at risk here?
She further added that, For example, college kids line up to get free gifts all the time without really caring about the importance of the products. Sometimes the fact that we get something for free means more to us than the same. $ 100 would not explain the risk this pandemic poses to unvaccinated people or trying to convince others to hesitate to vaccinate.
In this regard, the best solution is a perfect combination of education and rewards. That education and safety course as an alternative option Kroger talked about? Fill it up with more in-depth facts about COVID-19 risks and vaccines and share it with all employees! Educate them on why a vaccine is not a hoax but a much-needed shield. Use some of the bonus money to cover that, then offer the rest as an added incentive. After all, in order to better “improve their well-being as well as society”, we need less focus on the selfish desire for money and more awareness of the importance of taking action. Now, what is your take on this? Let us know in the comment section below!
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