Incentives – Risks and Benefits

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

There has been a lot of discussion of late regarding whether to incentivize staff to encourage increased acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine. While it is not a “required” vaccine, studies have shown that it does work! So if you have employees who are hesitant or downright negative about accepting the vaccine, what should you do?

First, of course, identify the root cause! Why are staff refusing to be vaccinated? Is there fear? Remember, many of your staff have witnessed more deaths this year than they would normally experience in their entire career. Fear is a common driver of resistance and although it may be difficult to overcome, we can educate and support our caregivers with the goal of protecting them as well as protecting our residents.

Employers, including health care providers, face a balancing act in getting their workforces vaccinated. For now, vaccination isn’t required but some organizations insist it “will be eventually.” Some experts have supported the idea of offering employees a financial incentive for getting vaccinated however other economists say such payments could backfire, citing studies that suggest offering money in exchange for getting vaccinated could lead them to conclude that the vaccines are risky. However you choose to address the vaccination process, please be sure to check with your legal counsel and corporate support team for guidance.

Remember, stay the course, get vaccinated, mask up and stay tuned!