A Hudson Valley business is going to pay its workers four hours of wages in exchange for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The life-saving vaccine has arrived, but it will only be effective in stamping out coronavirus if everyone gets on board. If we ever hope to reopen restaurants, movie theaters and, one day, ditch those masks, a majority of the population needs to get vaccinated. If not, the virus is just going to keep popping up, extending the pandemic even more.

Some experts worry that fear of vaccinations, financial worries and busy schedules will hinder many people from getting immunized in a timely manner. One local employer is going out of the way to remove barriers so that their workers don't have to choose between getting paid and getting their shot.

Frontline workers who deal directly with the public make up one of the most vulnerable segments of the population. The vast majority of them also deal with challenges that may make it difficult to find time to get vaccinated. Well, Dollar General is making sure that doesn't happen to their team members. In a statement released Wednesday, the retailer announced that they would be giving all workers who receive the vaccine the equivalent of four hours' pay.

We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work, so we are working to remove barriers (e.g., travel time, mileage, child care needs, etc.) by providing frontline hourly team members with a one-time payment equivalent of four (4) hours of regular pay after receiving a completed COVID-19 vaccination and salaried team members with additional store labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store.  We’re also working with our distribution and transportation teams to make similar accommodations for those teams.

This is great news for employees of Dollar General. Hopefully, more Hudson Valley businesses will follow suit and make it easier for their frontline workers to get the vaccine without losing money. For those workers who have put their lives on the line to keep their employers in business, it's literally the least they can do.

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