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Employees of Kentucky city will get $500 bonus if they get vaccinated

Richmond city employees will get a one-time $500 bonus if they get vaccinated.
Richmond city employees will get a one-time $500 bonus if they get vaccinated.(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 11:52 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Richmond city employees will get a one-time $500 bonus if they get vaccinated.

City officials made the decision Tuesday night during a heated debate. Two commissioners voted in favor. Two opposed. Mayor Richard Blythe had to break the tie.

Mayor Blythe says he voted in favor of the $500 incentive because he believes if city employees get vaccinated, it will help the community as a whole.

Commissioners Krystin Arnold and Jim Newby voted against the measure. Arnold says she thinks getting vaccinated is a personal decision and a financial incentive would persuade people to get the shots.

“I think that it’s their personal decision if they want to take that,” Arnold said. “There is a persuasion when you put a financial amount to a decision. That I don’t like.”

Blythe says, initially, he was unsure about the idea, but after looking at high COVID-19 numbers, he thought encouraging employees to get vaccinated was the right move.

“I felt more comfortable by voting ‘yes’ last night than I have in the past many days simply because I said these folks by doing that are contributing to the well-being of the whole,” Mayor Blythe said.

To receive the $500, fully vaccinated employees must show their vaccination proof on or before February 28 for the first payout then June 3 for the last payout.

Officials say fully vaccinated means you’ve either received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Tuesday night, city officials also voted to pay city employees who worked during the pandemic $1,000. City officials say the $1,000 payments and $500 incentives are being funded by American Rescue Plan funds.

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