The chain said Wednesday it will give its employees a one-time payment equal to four hours’ pay after receiving a completed vaccination.
“We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or getting to work,” Dollar General (DG) said in a press release, noting that its hourly workers face obstacles to being vaccinated, such as travel time, gas mileage or childcare needs.
The company, which had 157,000 employees per. October 30, called to get a vaccine for a “personal decision”
; and said it would not require it.
Its announcement comes as vaccine rollout has slowly begun in the United States. More than 27.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed so far, according to CDC data, and more than 9.3 million people have received their first dose. Federal officials had said 20 million people would have received the first doses by the end of December.
Dollar General was considered a major trader and has been open throughout the pandemic. Most states still only vaccinate health care workers and residents and staff in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, according to Kaiser. Significant workers, such as retail and grocery workers, are set to be vaccinated at later stages of the rollout, but their eligibility to receive the vaccine varies from country to country.
Dollar General is not the only employer offering financial incentives to workers to get a Covid-19 vaccine. The Houston Methodist, a Texas hospital system with more than 26,000 employees, will also offer a $ 500 bonus to workers if they are vaccinated.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris contributed to this article.