COMP NEWS – Governor Mike DeWine announced an employee vaccination incentive program in which state workers can receive a bonus of up to $1,000 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. DeWine announced this incentive plan in an attempt to get more employees to get the covid vaccine. However, most state officials are opting out of the program.

This employee incentive program will grant employees bonuses for getting vaccinated, but many conditions have to be met for the bonus to be the full $1,000.

A key deadline falls later this week under the expanded program. State employees will get $300 if, by Oct. 15, 65% of their agency’s active employees submit a form attesting they’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. If 85% of a state agency’s active employees file forms by Nov. 15 saying they’ve received at least one shot, those workers will get an additional $600.

John Fortney, a spokesperson for the Ohio Senate Republicans, explained the decision to opt-out of the program. Fortney claimed that getting the vaccine should be decided by individuals themselves.

“Covid-19 vaccinations are free to anyone who wants one. Ohioans understand their options and should be trusted to make the personal and private healthcare decisions that are best for them and their families,” Fortney said.

John Fortney is not the only one opting out of the program. Many other elected officials are releasing statements claiming that they are not participating in the program as well.

Spokespeople for Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Bob Cupp, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Auditor Keith Faber, Treasurer Robert Sprague and Attorney General Dave Yost all said they are not planning to opt into the program, announced by DeWine last month.

This incentive program will be an interesting experiment for other states. If this program does end up increasing vaccination rates, other states might consider similar incentives as well.

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