City of Savannah gives update on employee COVID vaccination incentive program

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been about three weeks since the City, Chatham County government, Chatham Area Transit and Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools announced all four agencies would give $500 to their respective employees if they get fully vaccinated.

The City reported today that since the COVID vaccine incentive program began a little over three weeks ago, 142 additional employees have been fully vaccinated.

That takes the number of fully vaccinated city employees to 1,346, or about 63-percent of all workers.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said he’d like to see that percentage hit 80 or higher.

We also checked in with the school system, and they told be about 43-percent of their 5,600 employee workforce has been looked up for vaccine verification, with around 3,000 employees applying for the vaccine incentive.

Chatham County didn’t have any data available just yet, and when we hear back from CAT we’ll add that info to this story.

At today’s news conference, Mayor Johnson talked about the boost in numbers of city employees getting vaccinated, and the difference between this incentive program and the last that gave employees time off instead of cash.

“We know people are doing it, and again, the numbers kind of say for themselves. The difference with this side of the program, is that we’re verifying it. The GRITS system is the vaccine database for the state. And so, in order to receive the incentive, your name has to be checked independently in GRITS to make sure you are really vaccinated,” the Mayor said.

GRITS, again, stands for the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services.

The City and County governments, along with CAT and the school system are all using an independent third party company to verify employee vaccination status.

The City’s vaccination incentive program is in effect now, and ends Nov. 15.

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