Target offering employees incentives to get COVID-19 vaccines

Target has joined a growing list of essential businesses that are paying their employees to get the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.

Essential employees -- who are considered to have a very high risk of being infected with the virus because their jobs are critical and require them to be in regular contact with other people -- are now next in line to receive either Moderna or Pfizer's COVID-19 shots.

When that happens, hourly team members at Target will get up to four hours of pay, the Minneapolis-based company said.

Additionally, all U.S. team members will be offered free Lyft rides, up to $15 each way, to get back and forth from vaccine appointments, according to Target.

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The move is an effort by the company to make sure "vaccines remain free and easy for all team members." However, Target said it won't require employees to get a vaccine in order to come to work.

"Taking care of our team has been at the heart of every decision we’ve made since the coronavirus started, and this point in the pandemic is no different," Target chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer said.

FILE - A Target shopping cart is shown in Walnut Creek, California, on June 29, 2020. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Recently, a handful of major companies including Trader Joe's, Instacart, Dollar General, Kroger and Aldi have offered financial incentives to their workers so they don't have to choose between going to work or getting the vaccine.

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