Target will offer its employees free transportation and pay for the time taken to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and Target-owned grocery-delivery service Shipt will also offer stipends to its contract workers.

All Target hourly employees who choose to get vaccinated will get up to four hours of pay — two hours for each dose — when they receive their vaccines, the Minneapolis retailer announced Wednesday. U.S. employees also will get free Lyft rides of up to $15 each way to their appointments.

"As more vaccines become available, especially for front-line and essential workers, we'll help our team members across the country get the information and access they need," said Target chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer in a statement. "As we have for the past year, we'll continue to invest in our team's pay and benefits so they can take care of themselves, each other and our guests."

Target and Shipt don't plan to require vaccination for employees to work.

Vaccine availability remains limited, with eligibility differing by state. Minnesota recently rose from 45th to 14th among U.S. states in its rate of COVID-19 vaccine administration.

This week in Minnesota, 8,000 vaccine doses not being used in long-term care facilities are being diverted to Walgreens pharmacies. Walmart and Thrifty White also are planning to administer 16,000 doses. Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies in Minnesota will begin administering vaccines on Friday to eligible customers.

CVS has more than 1,700 pharmacy locations in Target stores across the country. After states determine final prioritization of front-line workers, the pharmacies will evaluate offering the vaccine to Target employees and customers in the future.

Shipt's independent contractors who shop and then deliver items to customers' homes are eligible for up to $50 in stipends for receiving the vaccine. Active Shipt workers, who have delivered 10 or more orders during the 30 days before vaccination, are eligible to receive a $25 stipend for each dose through at least June 1.

"We remain committed to doing our part in encouraging Shipt shoppers and employees to take the steps they can to help us all move forward as a country," said Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso in a statement. "As COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans continue to rapidly evolve and change, we will continue to evaluate the duration of this program and inform Shipt Shoppers accordingly."

Shipt's hourly corporate employees will be provided paid time off when receiving vaccine doses as well.

Target joins a growing list of retailers offering incentives for employees to get vaccinated.

Dollar General announced last month it would give employees four hours of pay if they get the vaccine.

Grocery chains Trader Joe's and Aldi have said they would also provide employees with two hours of pay for each dose.

Grocery delivery service Instacart has said it will give a $25 stipend for workers who get the vaccine.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet