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Boys and Girls Club offers incentive for employees to get COVID-19 vaccine

Employees who get both the first and second vaccination are eligible to take an additional paid day off.

BOISE, Idaho — The goal of the Boys and Girls Club of Ada County is to provide a safe place for children in the Treasure Valley.

A new employee incentive is aimed at making it even safer.

The Boys and Girls Club is offering paid time off for all 107 of its employees to get COVID-19 vaccines.

“We’ve made the decision that we don’t want to mandate a vaccination," said Executive Director Colleen Braga. "We don’t think that’s right for a variety of reasons, so what we decided to do was provide some incentives for staff who might be on the fence about getting a vaccination.”

Employees will get paid time off for the first and second dose appointments. In addition, those who prove they have gotten both doses are eligible to take an additional paid day off.

This incentive comes after Idaho's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee updated the second priority group – essential workers—to include school staff, teachers, and childcare workers.

Over 95% of the staff at the Boys and Girls Club of Ada County have already received their first dose, or have made an appointment to do so, Braga said.

“Some of them are young. I’m not saying they don’t take it seriously, but I don’t think they are quite as worried as some of us who are not quite as young," she said. "So the thought of getting a paid day off for doing really the right thing is kind of attractive to them.”

Before the pandemic, the Boys and Girls Club served almost 7,000 kids a day at their seven clubs across the valley. Now, they only see about 3,800 kids a day, even though they’ve opened two additional sites to serve the community.

Braga hopes this incentive will bring attendance back up, and bring the club one step closer to normalcy.

“If families know that our staff have been vaccinated and that the club is a safe place for congregate settings, they’ll be more comfortable sending their kids here, and kids need us now more than ever," she said. "We want to be able to serve as many out there that need us.”

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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