GREELEY, COLO. – Last week, JBS USA announced that 700 employees at its Beardstown, Ill., pork production facility received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The shots were provided by Cass County Health Department and were administered on site at the plant.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to vaccinate many of our team members in Beardstown and appreciate the Cass County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health for their assistance and prioritization of our essential workforce,” said Bob Krebs, president, JBS USA pork. “We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our team members and doing all we can to ensure our workforce across the country is given the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide food for all Americans, and their access to the vaccine should absolutely be prioritized.”

JBS said vaccination is voluntary for workers at the Beardstown facility. However, a $100 incentive bonus is available for anyone who is inoculated. The second dose of the vaccine will be given to employees in March.

“The Cass County Health Department is proud to partner with JBS USA to implement a large-scale vaccination clinic for these essential employees in Beardstown,” said Teresa Armstrong, administrator of the Cass County Health Department. “Our goal is to quickly and safely vaccinate as many JBS Beardstown employees as possible to prevent illness and spread of COVID-19.” 

Krebs added that JBS is hopeful that that other states will follow IIIinois in getting more vaccines to essential food workers.