East Wenatchee offering employees incentive to get COVID-19 vaccine

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The city of East Wenatchee will offer its employees an additional four hours of vacation if they receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they become eligible.

The City Council unanimously approved the incentive program at its Tuesday meeting.

Mayor Jerrilea Crawford first brought the idea to the council Jan. 19, saying the estimated $8,000 cost of the incentive program would be money well spent.

“I’m very motivated to keep staff safe and protected and would love for staff to get the vaccine, if they’re comfortable with that,” Crawford said.

She said she noticed some private businesses were offering incentives if their employees received the vaccine.

“I don’t think we have anyone here who’s absolutely opposed to getting the vaccine but it’s possible we might have people who aren’t maybe thrilled about going and getting stuck with a needle a couple times,” Crawford said.

If every city employee took advantage of the incentive, the vacation time would add up to just under $8,000 she said.

The payoff would come with potentially having fewer employees out sick, she said.

That has already happened with the police department where a couple people were out and other officers were paid overtime to cover the absences, she said.

“In a lot of ways I think $8,000 would be money well spent,” Crawford said.