The COVID-19 vaccination rate for DeKalb County government employees has exceeded county, state, and national rates thanks to incentives, stated officials.
An estimated 67 percent of DeKalb County government employees have submitted documentation that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond announced April 1.
“Our information and monetary incentive initiative was successful in encouraging our employees to protect themselves, their families, friends, and community against the COVID-19 virus,” Thurmond said. “Our goal was to encourage our employees to ‘Get vaxxed!’ so that we could maintain a healthy workforce and continue to provide essential services to DeKalb County.”
The county’s efforts also led to recognition as a recipient of a 2022 Good Trouble Honor for its “Get Vaxxed” COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The Innovation in Government honor, awarded by the Center for Civic Innovation, recognizes “a local government agency, elected official, or civil servant who has broken through the status quo to lead a policy, program, project, or partnership to make our government more effective, equitable, responsive, and/or participatory,” according to officials.
Thurmond said that the comprehensive, multi-agency response to the pandemic helped to save lives and keep residents healthy.
In November 2021, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Thurmond’s proposal to give DeKalb County Government employees $500 in incentives for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.
As of March 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 percent of U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to Georgia Department of Public Health, 56 percent of Georgians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 58 percent of DeKalb County residents are fully vaccinated.
DeKalb County’s approximately 6,300 employees were eligible to receive a $300 incentive if they provided documentation by Feb. 25, 2022, that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, employees could receive a $200 incentive after providing documentation that they had received the 2021 flu vaccination.
DeKalb County paid approximately $1.8 million in employee vaccination incentives using American Rescue Plan funds and the county’s annual operating budget, according to officials.