SPRINGDALE, ARK. –Tyson Foods Inc. announced on Feb. 4 that some of its employees were receiving COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at its Wilkesboro, NC, facility.

The company said its workers are eligible for the vaccine under North Carolina’s Phase 2 distribution plan. That phase also includes state residents that are 65 years and older.

Tyson partnered with Matrix Medical Network to help coordinate vaccines throughout the company.

“Providing vaccine education and accessibility is a critical part of our ongoing commitment to put the health and safety of our team members first,” said Dean Banks, Tyson’s president and chief executive officer in January.

 The clinic-service company is helping inform and educate employees about the safety and accessibility of vaccines. Tyson stated in January that it is strongly encouraging its workers to take the vaccine when it becomes available.

Matrix Medical Network previously stated that it can provide mobile health professionals to Tyson facilities across the United States to offer on-site communication and education, in multiple languages, about the vaccine as well as administration of the vaccine and counseling services to workers.

“Tyson workers are bravely serving on the front lines so that millions of families can put food on the table during this crisis,” said Mark Lauritsen, vice president, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International last month.  “Protecting these essential workers is vital to keeping our nation’s food supply secure as the pandemic worsens and this new Tyson partnership is a critical step toward achieving that. As the largest union for America’s food processing workers, UFCW will continue to work with industry leaders like Tyson in a unified effort to expedite vaccinations for workers who are essential to keeping our communities strong at this critical point in the pandemic."

Availability of vaccines to Tyson workers still varies from state to state, but the company is working to administer vaccines at the earliest opportunity while following health official guidance and confirming effective scheduling and delivery.