SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Expanding on its successful vaccination efforts in communities across the country, Tyson Foods Inc. now offers onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to family members of employees as well as others living in their homes. Vaccines will be available, in accord with state and local guidelines, to these extended groups at all future Tyson Foods vaccination events.
According to a company statement, the expanded benefit, which it believes to be one of the first of its kind, began at Tyson Foods vaccination events in Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, where employees as well as family and household members were vaccinated. This included vaccination clinics at major production facilities in Logansport and Corydon, Indiana; Glen Allen, Virginia; and 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.”
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.”
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.