Grocery chain Kroger announced Friday that it will give employees $100 once they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Hourly front-line grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates will be eligible for the payment, Kroger said.
For employees getting the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, that means they’ll receive their $100 payment after taking two doses of the vaccines. Several other one-dose vaccines are expected to hit the market in the coming weeks.
Kroger says employees who cannot take the vaccine for medical or religious purposes will have the option of completing an educational health and safety course to receive the payment.
"We know that the most effective defense against this pandemic comes in the form of the COVID-19 vaccine and the continuation of the rigorous safety precautions we've established across our stores, manufacturing facilities and supply chain," said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger's chief medical officer. "We are strongly encouraging all customers and associates to receive the vaccine to curb the spread of COVID-19, and we'll do all we can to ensure they have access as soon as it's available."
Grocery store employees are listed in the CDC’s “Phase 2” of coronavirus vaccine distribution. There are nearly 30 million essential workers listed in Phase 2. It could take several more months to get this group fully vaccinated.
In addition to the $100 payment in exchange for getting vaccinated, Kroger said that employees will also receive $100 in store credit regardless whether they are vaccinated. Kroger said employees should expect to receive their $100 store credit on Feb. 11 on their loyalty cards.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.