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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Another Georgia city is offering a cash incentive to encourage city employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Brunswick City Commission on Wednesday narrowly approved a $500 bonus for employees who get inoculated, the Brunswick News reported. Those who have already received their vaccines are also eligible for the money.

City Manager Regina McDuffie said only 46% of all city employees are vaccinated, and there have been 15 cases of the virus among city staff in recent weeks.

The cities of Gainesville and Moultrie also offered $500 for employees to get vaccinated, and their vaccination rates for city staff are now 75%, McDuffie said.

"It's a really good incentive," she said. "It will get the attention of employees."

The money will come from federal funding.

Two commissioners objected, but Mayor Cornell Harvey pointed out the high cost to the city's health insurance program to cover a COVID diagnosis, according to the Brunswick News. He and another commissioner also noted the virus' toll, saying they were seeing more funerals at city cemeteries.

"It's a wellness check," Harvey said. "Employees have a choice. They don't have to participate."

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