SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KAMR/KCIT) – Tyson Foods is extending onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to family members of employees, as well as others living in their homes. Vaccines are expected to be available, with state and local guidelines, to these groups at all future Tyson Foods vaccination events.
Said the Company, “The expanded benefit, believed to be one of the first of its kind, started recently at Tyson Foods vaccination events in Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia, where team members, as well as family and household members were vaccinated. This included vaccination clinics at major production facilities in Logansport and Corydon, Indiana, and Glen Allen, Virginia, as well as Amarillo and Sherman, Texas.”
“Tyson is a family company, and we know our team members want to ensure their families and those they live with are protected against the virus, so we’re pleased to start giving them access to our free, onsite vaccinations,” said Dr. Claudia Coplein, Tyson Foods’ Chief Medical Officer. “We strive to be a valued partner in every plant community our team members call home. We know expanding access to the vaccine not only helps them and their loved ones but can have positive public health implications for the broader communities where we operate.”
Beau Hart, an Amarillo team member, was vaccinated last Friday and brought his wife and mother-in-law to the on-site vaccination clinic Saturday. “I’ve been wanting to get the vaccine,” said Rayia Hart, Beau’s wife. “I have a little boy at home who has a compromised immune system and I work with the public in my job. We think it is great Tyson offered this to families, as well at no cost.”
Courtney Smith, the wife of a team member at the company’s Corydon, Indiana, poultry facility, was recently vaccinated at an onsite event. She said, “Having the vaccine available at a location I’m familiar with was extremely convenient. The event was very well organized and I’m grateful for Tyson opening up eligibility to employee’s families and providing easy access to the vaccine.”
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Vice President Mark Lauritsen said, “As the largest union for America’s meatpacking workers, UFCW welcomes this important step by Tyson to increase vaccine access for many of the brave essential workers we represent, as well as their families. Expanding access to free vaccine programs like this is vital to public health and keeping our plants and communities safe. UFCW is urging all companies in the industry to follow the lead of Tyson and others taking steps to further expand vaccine access for frontline food workers as they continue to keep our food supply secure during the pandemic.”
The Company reported that nearly 40,000 Tyson Foods employees have been vaccinated so far at more than 100 events held onsite at Tyson facilities or in nearby community facilities. In preparation for vaccinations, Tyson Foods “has been providing expert resources and education about the vaccine to team members. This information is available in multiple languages and team members also have access to a hotline to ask questions. In addition to offering free, on-site vaccinations, the company is also compensating workers for up to four hours of regular pay if they are vaccinated outside of their normal shift or through an external source.”
Tyson Foods’ community vaccination efforts are the latest in a series of measures the company claims to have taken to fight COVID-19. Since spring 2020, the company reported to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to transform its U.S. facilities with protective measures, from walk-through temperature scanners and workstation dividers to social distance monitors and always-on testing, as well as provide additional team member pay and benefits. Tyson Foods has also said it expanded its health services staff, added a chief medical officer and plans to pilot health clinics for team members and their families early this year.
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