Instacart shoppers will get a small stipend for COVID-19 vaccine

Instacart has announced that it will provide a small stipend to encourage its shoppers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The stipend will be made available to the company's in-store shoppers, shift leads, and full-service shoppers, according to Instacart, which says the financial incentive will be available starting on February 1.

Instacart shoppers are gig economy workers — they're the people who receive your online orders, get the goods from the store, and drop them off at your door. Under the new COVID-19 Vaccine Support Stipend, these workers — as well as shift leads — will receive $25 when the time comes for them to get a vaccine.

The idea is that shoppers may be reluctant to take time out of their working day in order to get vaccinated because doing so will cause them to miss out on some money they could otherwise be earning. The stipend is intended to make sure the hour or so one may take to get the COVID-19 vaccine won't pass without income.

Eligible shoppers should expect to receive an in-app message from Instacart once the vaccine availability reaches the region in which they work. That message will include details on how to apply for the funds. The company notes who is eligible for the stipend:

Any active full-service shopper who has shopped at least 5 batches in the previous 30 days and can verify they have received a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to receive the stipend. Shift leads and in-store shoppers who are actively employed when they receive the vaccine will also be eligible.

The company also plans to start redistributing its 'health and safety kits' to its active shoppers — these include a face mask and hand sanitizer.