In the coming weeks, the city of Mobile will offer an incentive to employees who have been or will get vaccinated against COVID-19, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s Chief of Staff James Barber confirmed.
City employees who are willing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will receive a $100 incentive, Barber told reporters Tuesday, Sept. 14. The incentive will also apply retroactively to employees who have already received either the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, he said. Employees must sign an affidavit attesting to their vaccination and provide a copy of their CDC immunization card.
“We know the best way to keep our employees safe and city services unimpeded is to get as many people on our staff vaccinated as we can,” Stimpson said in a statement. “We are grateful that many city of Mobile employees have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 and hope this encourages others to do the same.”
Although the announcement comes just days after President Joe Biden said he would have the U.S. Department of Labor create rules requiring employers of more than 100 to have employees vaccinated or subjected to weekly COVID-19 tests, Barber said that was not a consideration for the incentive, as city, county and state governments are, most likely, going to be exempt.
The money for the incentive will come out of the city’s allotment of American Rescue Plan funds, Barber said, through money set aside for employee bonuses. The incentive will be in addition to the $5,000 bonuses, he said.
The incentive has a sunset date, but Barber said he’d have to confirm the date.
The program announced by Stimpson will also provide two weeks of extra sick leave for vaccinated employees who become sick with COVID-19, Barber said.
The city does not have a firm number of how many employees have been vaccinated so far, Barber said, because workers who get the vaccine have been voluntarily reporting when and if they receive it. Barber said the administration believes about two-thirds of Mobile Police Department and Mobile Fire-Rescue Department personnel have received the vaccine, although that’s based on voluntary reporting.
After a very significant surge in August, Mobile County seems to be leveling off in terms of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to numbers provided by the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) dashboard.
As of Monday, Sept. 13, MCHD reported 139 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. On the same day, the organization reported a total of 225 hospitalizations, which is the lowest since the start of September.
In Mobile County, less than half the population, or 191,000 people, have received at least one vaccine dose, according to MCHD. While less than 40 percent of the population, or 153,000, have received a complete series of vaccine.
Given those numbers, Mobile County just lags behind the state in terms of herd immunity by one percentage point.
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