August 4, 2021
Tyson Foods to require COVID-19 vaccinations for US workforce
Tyson Foods is requiring employees at its US office locations to be fully vaccinated by October 1, 2021.
All other employees are required to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021, subject to ongoing discussions with locations represented by unions.
This action makes Tyson Foods the largest US food company to require COVID-19 vaccinations for its entire workforce, according to the company. Almost half of Tyson Foods' US workforce has been vaccinated and coronavirus infection rates among team members remain low.
"Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the single most effective thing we can do to protect our team members, their families and their communities," said Dr. Claudia Coplein, chief medical officer of Tyson Foods. "With rapidly rising COVID-19 case counts of contagious, dangerous variants leading to increasing rates of severe illness and hospitalisation among the US unvaccinated population, this is the right time to take the next step to ensure a fully vaccinated workforce."
Since February, Tyson Foods has hosted more than 100 vaccination events for employees across the country and more than 56,000 of its US employees have been vaccinated so far. Additional onsite vaccination events will be scheduled, and the company will continue to collaborate with local health departments and healthcare providers to make the vaccine more accessible.
The company will provide US$200 to its frontline team members, subject to ongoing discussions with locations represented by unions. This is an expansion of Tyson Foods' existing policy of 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 and Matrix Medical have worked together since the beginning of this pandemic to develop and implement strategies to mitigate the risk of the virus to Tyson employees and their families, as well as the communities where they live and work," said Matrix chief medical officer and group president Daniel Castillo. "Matrix clinicians and Tyson team members have worked hand-in-hand to implement a broad array of workplace safety measures at Tyson, and we now feel the rising number of new cases across the US warrants advanced clinical strategies – including requiring vaccinations."
To date, Tyson Foods has spent more than US$700 million related to COVID-19, including on efforts to combat its spread, such as buying masks, face shields and temperature scanners, installing protective barriers and providing on-site testing and vaccinations.
- Tyson Foods