Publix Super Markets has joined a growing list of grocery retailers offering employees an incentive to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix said Friday that associates will receive a $125 Publix gift card after receiving a full coronavirus immunization. Both of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States — from Moderna (available at selected Publix pharmacies) and Pfizer/BioNTech — require two shots, 28 days and 21 days apart, respectively.
To receive the store gift card, associates must be currently employed, submit an internal form and proof of vaccination, according to Publix. Employees aren’t required to get immunized at a Publix pharmacy to receive the gift card. The company noted that it’s encouraging — but not requiring — its workers to receive a COVID-19 inoculation.
“We care about our associates and customers and believe getting vaccinated can help us take one step closer to getting back to normal,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “We’re encouraging our associates to get vaccinated when they become eligible and doses are available.”
Other grocery retailers providing worker incentives to get a COVID shot — such as extra pay, bonuses, financial assistance, time off for the immunization and/or other benefits — include The Kroger Co., Target, Aldi, Lidl, Trader Joe’s and Dollar General, as well as online grocery delivery giant Instacart.
A week ago, Publix announced that it surpassed the 300,000 mark in COVID-19 vaccinations since it began administering the vaccine early in 2021. The chain said at the time that pharmacies have provided more than 250,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in Florida and about 50,000 doses in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.
Publix has been administering the vaccines at no charge upon receiving supply, announcing dates when its online registration system opens for consumers to make appointments for the shot as well as the dates that the vaccines are given. After receiving the first dose, patients are automatically scheduled to receive their second dose at the same location four weeks later.
On Friday, Publix opened its publix.com/covidvaccine site for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at 60 pharmacies in South Carolina. The period for appointments runs Monday, Feb. 22, to Friday, Feb. 26.
Publix added that it’s working other states in its operating area to provide coronavirus vaccines as part of their distribution efforts. Overall, the company operates more than 1,000 pharmacies in its 1,267 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.