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Capitol Briefs: St. Louis unveils vaccine incentives for city employees

St. Louis city employees can use paid time off to get vaccinated and receive incentives as the city launches a new program aimed at increasing vaccination rates. 

The city’s 6,000 employees will be eligible to receive $100 in gift cards once fully vaccinated in addition to using paid time off to get vaccinated. Mayor Tishaura Jones said the city was considering further steps to increase vaccination rates as coronavirus cases surge across the state. 

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remains the best way for St. Louisans to protect their families and greatly reduce their chance of ending up in the ICU, and we are using many different tools in our toolbox to encourage vaccination,” Jones said. “We are actively monitoring COVID-19 cases in the region, and like many other employers, are evaluating whether to mandate vaccines for city employees to protect the public and our workforce.”

  • The move comes the day after the city and St. Louis County reinstated their indoor mask mandates for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Gov. Mike Parson decried the move, arguing it undermined the state’s vaccination effort while Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a challenge to the order in court
  • The MO VIP program, a similar statewide initiative, has drawn more than 250,000 applicants since it was unveiled last week. The state reported a slight uptick in vaccinations since the announcement. 
  • Around 35 percent of the city’s population is fully vaccinated, while 40 percent have received at least the first dose. The state has reported more than 11,300 new positive cases in the past seven days and 24 deaths.