MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon is offering a financial incentive to city workers who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

City Manager Frank Peterson says employees who are fully vaccinated by the end of the year will get a bonus equal to 1% of their 2020 wages, including overtime.

“We were probably at a point where the people who were going to get it naturally on their own have already gotten it,” Peterson said. “We had a worry that only about half of our staff had done it.”

Final numbers are not yet available, but the city manager says offering the incentive has already made an impact, especially for people who were hesitant but not strongly opposed.

“We do know that there have been at least a handful of employees that went out specifically because of this and kind of changed their decision making,” Peterson said.

The payment will be made in the first paycheck in January. Employee who received the vaccine early on are eligible, as well.

Jake Eckholm is the director of development services for the city and worked on the committee that put together the program.

“We wanted to come up with a way to incentivizes folks to get it without causing detriment to the folks that had already done it,” Eckholm said.

The city manager says the program is not tapping into any money from the general fund and ultimately would cost less than making the shot a requirement.

“Defending a mandate would probably cost us more than any incentive that we were giving out,” Eckholm said.