Following its mandate, Tyson Foods reaches a 91 percent vaccination rate.

When Tyson Foods announced on August 3 that it would coronavirus vaccines needed For all of its 120,000 US employees, it was notable because it included frontline workers at a time when corporate mandates applied primarily to office workers. At the time, less than half of its workforce was vaccinated.

Nearly two months later, 91 percent of Tyson’s US workforce has been fully vaccinated, said Tyson’s chief medical officer, Dr. Claudia Coplin. Spoke to Dealbook Newsletter about the consequences of your policy.

Tyson did not release vaccination rates by type of worker, but “certainly the vaccination rate among our frontline workers was lower than among our office-based workers at the beginning,” Dr. Koplin said.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents several thousand Tyson workers, supported the mandate In return for more benefits, such as paid sick leave. Frontline workers have until November 1 to get vaccinated (or request a waiver), while the company’s roughly 6,000 office workers have until Friday to do so.

Tyson said about 91 percent of its 31,000 union employees are now vaccinated, matching the company’s overall rate. unlike some other large companiesOf course, Tyson hasn’t faced any lawsuits over its mandate, but it has lost some employees because of its mandate, a number that could grow as the deadline nears.

After COVID hit closer to home, one of the company’s poultry plants achieved a 78 percent to 100 percent vaccination rate. a viral video About Caleb Reeves, a young Arkansas man who died of COVID, helping to expose young people to the risk of the virus, “and we have many young frontline workers,” Dr. Koplin said. Mr. Reeves’ uncle worked at the Tyson Plant, and the video “gave him a personal connection to saying, ‘Hey, this could be my family too,'” Dr. Koplin said.

Tyson officials have visited the plants to hold small group talks about vaccines. “It’s important to recognize that misinformation is out there,” Dr. Koplin said. Some questions she hears regularly are whether vaccinations will affect fertility or pregnancy (Evidence doesn’t show)

“The most powerful conversations happened when I sat down with someone who was scared or emotional or otherwise hesitant to get vaccinated,” she said, “and they really needed someone to listen with empathy. “

Fortune 500 companies and the White House’s COVID Task Force have reached out to Tyson to discuss the company’s experience, especially after the White House asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to order large employers to make vaccinations mandatory.

Tyson is hopeful that when OSHA outlines more details and a timeline for the mandate, which can take weeks, more companies will announce vaccine requirements. When this happens, options will be limited for those who step down (or let go) because of the mandate.

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