PERRY, Iowa – The state of Iowa is still in Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccination process, focusing on frontline workers. Phase 1B is expected to start soon, making it available for more groups including meat-packing employees.
Tyson Foods is making plans on how they will vaccinate its employees. The company recently announced a partnership with Matrix Medical Network to utilize mobile health clinics.
“We’re going to make it as easy as possible for our team members to get the vaccine at our facility,” Derek Burleson, a spokesperson with Tyson Foods, said, “whether that’s a mobile health clinic in the parking lot, whether that’s using existing facilities. It’s really dependent on what kind of infrastructure is needed at the individual plant to ensure that all the team members who want the vaccine can receive it.”
Burleson said Tyson Foods is encouraging team members to take the vaccine, but not mandating it. He said giving these frontline workers the tools to continue feeding the country in a safe way is a priority. That’s why all health and safety precautions are staying in place.
“We are still requiring masks be worn, we’re still taking the temperature of team members, we still have social distancing monitors, we still have the dividers between workstations. And so none of that changes,” Burleson said. “We’re just looking at the vaccine as the next step in this journey of keeping our team members healthy and safe.”
Burleson stated there is no cost for employees at Tyson Foods to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It continues to be a waiting game for vaccine availability as the company works with local health officials. Tyson Foods is hopeful it can begin widespread vaccinations within the next few weeks.