Lehigh Valley nursing home employees offered money to get COVID-19 vaccine

NAZARETH, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Northampton County Council recently approved a resolution offering employees of Gracedale Nursing Home in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, a one-time payment of $750 simply for taking a COVID-19 vaccine.

There are two primary reasons why.

Gracedale was among the long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania hit especially hard by the pandemic.

In fact, before May ended, at least 39 Gracedale residents died of COVID-19, another 160 tested positive.

The other reason is apparent concerns expressed by some Gracedale employees regarding the vaccine's safety.

A concern spelled out in the resolution which reads, in part, "...there may be some reticence on the part of some staff to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccination due in part to the rapidity of its development..."

County officials stress that they will be using money received through the federal CARES Act for the pay-out, which could end up costing as much as $490,000.

Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure says the county does not believe this issue boils down to dollars and cents, but rather between life and death.

He says, "My plea to everyone who works at Gracedale, please get vaccinated. You'll protect your residents, you'll protect yourself, you'll protect your loved ones at home."
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.