Schools in a county in the southeastern US state of Georgia will pay $1,000 bonuses to staff who are vaccinated against Covid-19 in a bid to protect themselves from the resurgent pandemic, authorities said, reports AFP.
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.”
The Henry county school district, southeast of the city of Atlanta, will make a $1,000 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 program to curb the coronavirus in elementary and secondary schools, education officials said.
“We know that vaccines are still the number one defense and preventative measure to help mitigate and stop the spread of this community-crippling virus,” Davis said.
The United States is experiencing a sharp uptick in coronavirus cases due primarily to the more contagious Delta variant.
New cases of Covid-19 have increased fourfold in recent weeks, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said Sunday.
But there are wide disparities from one region to another as vaccination took on a political tint under former president Donald Trump, with the liberal north and east more open to getting a shot and the conservative south more wary.
In Henry county, infections increased by 40 percent in the last seven days, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The top US health authority says the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and—critically—that breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals, though still rare, may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases.