Tyson Foods to vaccinate thousands of Iowa workers

Submitted by Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tyson Foods team members receive Covid-19 vaccines from health officials at the Joslin, IL facility on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. Team members eligible under the locally established phases for vaccine distribution received their first vaccination dose.

Tyson Foods, Inc. will offer free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of frontline team members at its Iowa plants this week. The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with local health departments across the state of Iowa, where food processing workers are among the priority group now eligible for vaccination.

“We’ve been working with Matrix Medical, Hy-Vee and health department officials across Iowa to prepare for this moment and we’re ready,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate the state of Iowa recognizing the essential role they play in feeding the world.”

Tyson Foods officials expect many of the company’s 13,000 Iowa employees to be vaccinated during vaccination events later this week at or near company facilities in Columbus Junction, Council Bluffs, Independence, Perry, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Waterloo.

More than 2,000 of the company’s U.S employees were recently vaccinated either at onsite events or through an external source. Approximately 800 team members were vaccinated Feb. 19 and 20 at Tyson’s Joslin, Ill., beef plant. 

Additional vaccination events are planned this week for Tyson team members in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Albany, Kentucky and Noel, Missouri.

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 also recently announced that it is 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’ vaccination efforts are the latest in a series of measures the company has taken to fight COVID-19. Since the spring of 2020, the company 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 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.

Tyson Foods continues to experience success in its efforts to protect workers from the virus. The incidence of the virus involving the company’s U.S. team members remains low.