(WFSB) – Connecticut is urging companies to help vaccinate their workers by offering incentives.
Gov. Ned Lamont said the supply is currently outweighing the demand in Connecticut, and after the initial surge of people seeking vaccinations, his administration predicted the state would get to this point.
According to state officials, 51 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. The low end for herd immunity is 70 percent.
Lamont said he hopes the state gets there and is now asking companies to offer incentives to their workers.
“Free lunch, time off, gift cards, raffles,” Lamont said.
Those are some of the suggestions Lamont threw out there as the state reached the point where the vaccine supply has exceeded demand.
“We’re finding that many of our mobile vaccination vans that are out there, maybe they can do 140 doses in a day and they’re doing 15 doses in a day,” Lamont said.
Vaccines have a shelf life, and in order to not let them go to waste, the incentive idea was sparked by a federal tax break for companies.
Connecticut Business and Industry Association CEO Chris DiPentima explained.
“It’s allowing employers to use paid leave for employees who get the shot or sick or ill after they get the vaccination in that very short period of time, so that employers aren’t on the hook for the paid time off,” DiPentima said.
Channel 3 reached out to some of Connecticut's largest companies, even one that mandated employees get vaccinated, and couldn’t find many that are even considering incentivizing their workers.
DiPentima said that may be because the tax break was only announced this week.
“Now that everyone is eligible and there’s available, now employers are thinking 'how do I encourage, how do I incentivize?'” DiPentima said.
There are two companies that Channel 3 was aware of that incentivized. Raytheon gave workers $50 and in Wallingford, the chemical company Allnex offered time off. At Allnex, 80 percent of its 50 workers are already vaccinated.
“It goes to show that whether you’re a small 10 to 15-person company or a 50 to 100, or thousands of employees, there are options for all varieties,” DiPentima said.
The equation state leaders need to solve is how to keep the momentum going when it gets increasingly harder with each level of hesitancy.
Information about other vaccine clinics around the state, including locations and how to register, can be found here.