SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods Inc. extended its free, on-site COVID-19 vaccination campaign to include not only employees, but also family members and other household members living in the same home as employees. The expanded offering was recently rolled out at the company’s on-site vaccination clinics and at processing plants in Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.
According to the company, more than 100 on-site events have been held to date and approximately 40,000 employees have received the vaccination, either at one of Tyson’s plants or at a clinic in the community. As part of the campaign, Tyson has been promoting the benefits of receiving the vaccination by offering multi-lingual educational resources in addition to compensating employees for up to four hours of regular pay if they receive the vaccine through a third-party provider or at a time that is not during their regular work time.
After focusing first on front-line workers and company employees, Tyson has turned its attention to protecting the health of workers’ families and cohabitants in their homes as part of a wider campaign, said Dr. Claudia Coplein, MD, the company’s chief medical officer.
“We strive to be a valued partner in every plant community our team members call home,” Coplein said. “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.”
Mark Lauritsen, international vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), agreed the expansion was an important next step and encouraged other companies to follow suit.
“Expanding access to free vaccine programs like this is vital to public health and keeping our plants and communities safe,” he said. “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.”