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Tyson Offers Vaccine to Joslin Workers

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About half the workers at the Tyson beef plant in Joslin have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Last weekend, with help from Hy-Vee, the company held a free clinic and gave shots to 800 workers, joining 200 others who had already received vaccinations on their own.

Spokesman Derek Burleson says Tyson is not requiring its employees to get vaccinated.

"We're strongly encouraging it and we want to make it accessible to them. Based on my conversations with that plant leadership they've indicated that there's even greater interest from those team members who had not signed up to be vaccinated now that they've seen the process and become a little bit more familiar with it."

Future clinics are possible, but he says until then, workers can get four hours of paid time off to get a shot on their own.

Tyson also operates a pork plant in Columbus Junction, but is waiting to find out from the local health department when vaccine might be available for those employees.

Burleson says since last year when the pandemic sickened workers at its plants in Illinois and Iowa, Tyson has spent millions of dollars on safety equipment including temperature scanners and work station dividers, plus hiring hundreds of medical staff.