School district offers $1,000 benefit to vaccinated workers

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — A central Mississippi school district is offering a $1,000 incentive for employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vicksburg Warren School District’s board of trustees approved an “inoculation incentive” program during a meeting last week, The Vicksburg Post reports. All staff are eligible to receive the cash except for school board members and contractors.

To receive the money, employees must fill out a Google Form asking them to provide proof of vaccination, including what kind of vaccine they chose to get, the dates of their inoculations and what school they work at.

The money will be given out in two rounds. In the first round, checks will be disseminated in December. The second round will be disseminated in March.

The incentive program will be funded using federal coronavirus relief money, Vicksburg Warren School District Associate Superintendent Cedric Magee said.

Magee said there are financial and educational benefits to the district when employees are fully vaccinated. An employee who is in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case does not have to quarantine, allowing them to continue to work, he said.

“Teachers do not have to obtain a substitute, which is cost-saving to the district,” he said. “But more importantly, students are able to continue receiving quality instruction with their teacher in front of them.”

Just over 50% of Warren County residents are fully vaccinated, compared to the state vaccination rate of 46%, according to Mississippi Department of Health data.