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College Of Southern Idaho Announces Employee Vaccine Incentive

A banner that says "Welcome To CSI" is draped between two light posts at the entrance to the College of Southern Idaho's Twin Falls campus.
Rachel Cohen
Boise State Public Radio
A banner welcomes people to CSI's Twin Falls campus before school starts.

The College of Southern Idaho President Dean Fisher announced in an email Wednesday that all part-time and full-time employees who complete their COVID-19 vaccination by October 15 will receive $100.

Fisher said his proposal was unanimously accepted by the College of Southern Idaho Board of Trustees Monday evening.

Employees have to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one dose Janssen vaccine, before October 15 to qualify.

The benefit will be added to the employees' taxable wages, and only current employees are eligible. The incentive program is funded by federal coronavirus relief funds.

In his email, Fisher said he believes increasing the number of individuals who are vaccinated is “the best path forward for institutional sustainability.” He said the college is not mandating vaccinations, and he doesn’t believe it will in the future.

Gov. Brad Little is urging more Idahoans to get vaccinated as the school year begins.

"Our main defense in ensuring the new school year is entirely in-person — free from outbreaks and quarantines — is the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said in a press release.

Currently, fewer than half of Idahoans eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have gotten the shot.

The College of Southern Idaho said it won’t retain copies of staff vaccination records, but it will track participation in the incentive program.

In June, Little announced most state employees are eligible for a half a day of paid leave if they get the vaccine by the end of August.

The state shied away from other vaccine incentives, as a survey conducted in June found unvaccinated Idahoans might not be swayed by them. More than 90% of respondents who said they definitely won't get the vaccine said they wouldn't be persuaded by vaccine incentives like free guns, jet skis or thousands of dollars in lottery money.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio