ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Employees who are vaccinated before November 30 will be eligible for a one-time $1,000 payment under a new vaccine incentive program announced Wednesday.

“Through working closely with our agency and union leadership, we developed an incentive we believe will help get more of our staff vaccinated,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “With cold and flu season rapidly approaching, we must do everything in our power to boost vaccination rates, and we believe that this program will do just that among our public servants.”

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The program includes employees who have already been vaccinated. Temporary or contractual employees who worked more than 1,000 hours in FY 2020, and are still on payroll the week of September 13 will also be eligible.

The county is using federal ARPA funds to pay for the incentive.

The program will delay another Covid protocol for city workers – the testing program in which unvaccinated city workers must be tested regularly.

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The county said the incentive program will help the County determine where vaccination rates are lagging among staff so that they can adjust messaging and outreach through departments based on the data.

Starting the week of September 13, employees will be able to enter their vaccination verification into a secure web portal. Those who upload verification by September 20 will receive their payment in the form of a $1,000 off-cycle payroll check or direct deposit on Oct. 15.

Those who upload their vaccination data between September 20 and November 30 will receive their award before December 24, the county said.

“Our hope is that the increase in vaccinated employees will ultimately reduce the excessive costs, as well as the staffing and scheduling burdens associated with implementing a testing regimen for unvaccinated employees,” Chief Administrative Officer Matt Power said. “With a finite amount of resources and a clear public health goal – to get all eligible staff vaccinated as soon as possible – we’re focusing our efforts on increasing vaccinations and protecting our workforce.”

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CBS Baltimore Staff