(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- The food processing and production industries were particularly hard hit at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it was no surprise that St. Joseph's Tyson Foods was toward the top of the list for hosting a worksite vaccination clinic.
Thursday morning the St. Joseph and Andrew County health departments teamed up to take their Covid vaccination program straight to the worksite. At Tyson's plant they had the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine available which proved to be a draw for the hundreds of Tyson employees that were vaccinated.
"A lot of people would take one day out of their schedule to come and do this. Sometimes they don't want to do two," said Hillary Loucks from the Andrew Co. Health Department.
For Tyson management, it was a good opportunity to get their employees protected while keeping operations running at the same time.
"It's an opportunity to not only keep our employees safe but healthy and keep them in a position where they can continue to support their families in the community," said Brian Wikel, plant manager.
Tyson Foods is one of nearly ten local companies that have hosted worksite vaccination clinics this week. Like most of the other clinics held regionally, staff have been assisted by the local 139th Airlift Wing.
"They've been a huge help in all the clinics we've partnered with them on. They are always willing to help and do whatever needs to be done," said Debra Bradley, director of the St. Joseph Health Department
Over the past weeks, the St. Joseph Health Department has hosted its own clinic at the Civic Arena. The Andrew County Health Department has held its own mass vaccination clinics in Savannah. However, for these worksite events, they say it is truly a team effort.
"St. Joseph wanted to give the businesses the opportunity to have vaccine clinics. Andrew County had the opportunity to partner with the state to bring vaccine in."
Health department staff say they will be providing more workplace vaccinations as staffing and vaccines are available.