PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County is taking a different approach to get employees vaccinated.
The county will pay employees who are fully vaccinated by November a $500 bonus. The goal is to keep employees healthy and protected against COVID-19.
“We spent $3.4 million dollars in health insurance claims in the last 18 months on COVID-related cases, so on average that’s about $10,000 a case,” said Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles, who came up with the incentive plan.
Money to cover the bonuses will come from federal coronavirus relief funds allocated to the county.
Biles said around 50% of Pasco County employees are vaccinated. He hopes to get closer to 80% by offering employees the bonus.
“We think it’s a positive incentive to get people vaccinated,” said Biles, “Especially when others are taking a different approach,” he said referring to the City of Tampa implementing a vaccine mandate for employees.
Employees who have already been vaccinated will also receive the $500 bonus.
Biles said employees will receive the bonus before Thanksgiving, to give them time to get fully vaccinated.