(CNN) — Houston Methodist, a Texas hospital system with more than 26,000 employees, is offering a $500 bonus to workers if they get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Houston Methodist employees are eligible for a “Hope Bonus” in March to thank them for their work last year, Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist, wrote in an email to staff last week.

“Eligibility criteria will include getting a COVID-19 vaccination, fulfilling our obligation as health care workers to lead the community,” Boom wrote.

Boom noted that the Covid-19 vaccine is not mandated for employees right now, but will be eventually.

“This bonus is a thank you for your perseverance throughout a difficult 2020 as well as something to look forward to, to provide hope, during the next couple of challenging months,” Boom wrote.

The hospital system began administering the vaccine to employees on December 15.

“About 55% of Houston Methodist’s 26,000 employees have received at least first dose of Pfizer vaccine and thousands more scheduled,” a hospital spokesperson told CNN.

Houston Methodist employees also received a $500 bonus in November to thank them for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

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