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In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Gwinnett County Public Schools is offering a one-time, $500 vaccination incentive to eligible staff members, district officials said Thursday.

In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Gwinnett County Public Schools is offering a one-time vaccination incentive to eligible staff members, district officials said Thursday.

The $500 incentive would go to “eligible staff members who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.” District officials aid the incentive will be retroactive and available to eligible employees —including those who were vaccinated in spring and summer — as well as those who plan to get vaccinated “moving forward.”

“Through a voluntary process, employees will complete two-steps attesting to their vaccination status,” GCPS officials aid in a statement. “Employees will receive information about the process on Sept. 9.”

The district also announced that it will be holding weekly vaccination clinics at area schools to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations.

“As we are in the third school year impacted by the pandemic, now, more than ever, it is important for our children to be in school and learning in person,” GCPS Superintendent Calvin J. Watts said. “One way we can ensure that is through vaccination efforts. In the past, our district has focused on increasing awareness of vaccine availability and of opportunities to become vaccinated.

“However, it is time to improve our efforts. We hope to make a difference in encouraging vaccinations through employee incentives and additional vaccination clinics. By doing so, we can assist in limiting the spread of COVID which will help us keep our schools open, benefitting our students and the greater Gwinnett community.”

GCPS officials said the vaccination incentive is available to the following staff who meet eligibility requirements:

♦ All benefited, full-time employees.

♦ Contracted cafeteria staff.

♦ Contracted speech language pathologists.

♦ Retirees (This group would receive .49% of the incentive to reflect their .49 ♦ work schedule)

♦ Substitute teachers (Eligible subs must work a minimum of 45 days this school year.)

In addition to the vaccination incentive, GCPS officials said they are working with the health department to make vaccinations more accessible in the community by hosting weekly vaccination clinics at high schools around the county in September and October.

No appointment is necessary, district officials said. Participants will receive the PFIZER vaccine, which requires two shots.

“This opportunity is available to anyone eligible for the vaccine, ages 12 and older,” district officials said. “Students ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Interpreters will be on site.”

The mobile clinics will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

♦ Shiloh High School on Sept. 7 and Sept. 9.

♦ Discovery High School on Sept. 14 and Sept. 16.

♦ Duluth High School on Sept. 21 and Sept. 23.

♦ Dacula High School on Sept. 28 and Sept. 30.

♦ Grayson High School on Oct. 5.

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(9) comments

MissDaisy

No, not all vaccines are FDA approved, yet. I have had the vaccine as well as have had COVID. I still know there are different views on taking it or not, and vacillate on the issue. The vaccines never were promoted to absolutely keep us from getting COVID but to lessen the severity and chances of death. However, that was not the point, it was the using taxpayer dollars to pay for a shot that someone should decide to get on their own.

Stranger

Marvin - you again have it confused. A vaccine passport is a bad thing, but a school isn't the same. No, I don't believe a vaccine passport is a good thing for a restaurant to do. If I had Covid recently, I have more antibodies and by science don't need to vaccine right now.

Daisy - the vaccines have been fully approved now and are not just 'emergency' use.

MarvinGardens

Sounds like you do support vaccine passports for schools. Good, I'll take it. But until we can do that, I support the financial incentives. Not doing that is pennywise and pound foolish. Insurance (public and private) and hospitals are spending far more dealing with covid in the unvaccinated right now.

MissDaisy

Is that taxpayer money?

MarvinGardens

I assume so. If so, I fully support it as a proper use of tax dollars, to make our schools safer for students and staff.

Stranger

Can't the get it for free? So you pay them to get something they can get for free to make our schools safer for students and staff? If you're going to pay them, just require it as a prerequisite to work instead (unless have a valid reason). Private companies can do it, gov't can do it (military, etc.). Problem solved. Marvin keeps spending, spending and spending. Let someone else pay for it later.

MarvinGardens

Stranger, I support your solution too, if they are allowed to mandate it. I assumed Kemp's rule against vaccine passports would block this.

MissDaisy

That is a different issue if vacations are safe and effective. We hear all the time about people coming down with COVID that have been vaccinated. If someone want to be vaccinated they can be vaccinated; if someone wants to wear a mask they can wear a mask.

MarvinGardens

Miss Daisy: The covid vaccines are safe and effective, actually more effective than expected when the clinical trials were being set up. As for safety, risking an infection without vaccination is far more hazardous. Pointing out that vaccines are not perfect as justification for not vaccinating, is like pointing out that seatbelt wearers sometimes die in car crashes. It's still a far better choice to wear seatbelts, and to get vaccinated.

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