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Target is offering paid time off so workers can get the COVID-19 vaccine

The Minneapolis retailer joins a growing list of companies who are offering incentives to workers to get vaccinated.

Target is offering paid time off to its hourly workers so they can get the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as us up $15 towards transport for them to get there. 

As the COVID-19 becomes more available for frontline and essential workers, Minneapolis-based Target announced Wednesday that its hourly workers who choose to get the vaccine will get up to four hours of pay (two hours for each dose) when they go to their appointment.

"Target’s focused on helping our team members get the information and access they need — and removing barriers along the way," the release said, noting workers in the U.S. will get free Lyft rides up to $15 each way so they can get to and from their vaccine appointment. 

The company's goal is to make sure vaccines are "free and easy" for all employees and is encouraging everyone to get the vaccine when and where they can.

Target does not plan to require them to get the vaccine to come to work. 

“As more vaccines become available, especially for frontline and essential workers, we’ll help our team members across the country get the information and access they need," Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer said in the release.

Target is also working on ways it can administer the COVID-19 vaccine to its workers and the public via the 1,700 CVS pharmacies that are inside Target stores nationwide. However, when and if that happens will depend on vaccine allocations and supply.

Currently, supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are still well below demand, and eligibility and availability are dependent on what state you live in. 

In Minnesota, there's an increased push to vaccinate as many Minnesotans who are 65 and older as fast as possible, so the state distributed 24,000 doses to pharmacies in Minnesota to be used this week, including at Walmart, Thrifty White and Walgreens. 

Minnesota ranks 14th nationally based on doses administered per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just 2.9% of Minnesota's population has completed the two-dose series, according to the health department, while 10.1% of the states approximately 5.67 million people have received at least one dose.

Target, which calls itself a "strong supporter of the vaccine," says it is contributing to education and local community partnerships to support their efforts to educate the public about the vaccine. 

The retailer joins more than a dozen companies that have announced incentives for workers to get the vaccine, which could help some people overcome potential barriers they may face that prevent them from getting to an appointment (transportation, time off from work, etc.)

The other companies who've announced paid time off or other incentives include Aldi, Dollar General, Trader Joe's, Amtrak, McDonald's, and others, according to CNBC.

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