Amazon has reportedly instituted a lottery that will give frontline workers the chance to win $500,000 and other prizes if they’re vaccinated against COVID-19

Amazon worker packages NY
An employee scans packages at Amazon’s JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Amazon announced a contest for its vaccinated frontline employees in an email, Bloomberg first reported.
  • Prizes include cash rewards up to $US500,000 ($AU681,220), cars, and vacation packages.
  • The contest is Amazon’s effort to incentivize employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which the company does not currently mandate.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon really wants its workforce vaccinated against COVID-19, and the online retail giant has announced a corporate lottery for frontline employees who can prove their vaccination status, Bloomberg reported.

The ‘Max your Vax’ contest is open to frontline employees, which include its warehouse and logistics workers as well as hourly workers in Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh groceries, and Amazon Web Service data centers, Bloomberg reported late Friday.

The contest will offer up to 18 prizes, which Amazon valued at almost $US2 ($AU3) million, according to Bloomberg. This includes two $US500,000 ($AU681,220) and six $US100,000 ($AU136,244) cash prizes, five new vehicles, and five vacation packages.

“We strongly believe that the best way to protect our front-line employees and communities from COVID-19 is through vaccinations,” National Media Relations Director at Amazon Kelly Nantel told Insider. “And we are proud to have hosted more than 1,100 on-site vaccination events to help make getting a vaccination as easy as possible for our employees and their household members.”

While big companies, including Disney and Walmart, have begun to mandate vaccine shots for most employees, Amazon has yet to do so for Amazon warehouse and frontline workers, many of whom have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon offered on-site COVID vaccine clinics back in March, but stopped COVID testing for its warehouse workers in July.

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Amazon looks to be approaching employee vaccinations as an incentive rather than a mandate. With its already high employee turnover rates, Amazon believes vaccine mandates may drive away their more skeptical workers.

The company announced on Friday that all warehouse workers, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear a mask starting August 9 amid the spread of the coronavirus delta variant. Amazon also pushed back the return date for its office workers to January 2022.