Tyson Foods Inc. is partnering with Matrix Medical Network, a leading clinical services company, to ensure the company’s U.S. team members are educated about and have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Matrix will collaborate with Tyson Foods’ health services team to deploy mobile health clinics and expert clinical staff to support vaccine communications, administration and counseling at Tyson Foods facilities beginning in early 2021 and continuing throughout the year. Tyson Foods will provide team members with third-party education information in multiple languages from resources such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control about the vaccines and vaccination process.
“Providing vaccine education and accessibility is a critical part of our ongoing commitment to put the health and safety of our team members first,” said Dean Banks, president and CEO, Tyson Foods.
Because the availability of the vaccine will vary by state, the company is committed to a long-term strategy that ensures any team member who wants a vaccine will receive one. Vaccines will be administered at the earliest opportunity following guidance from health officials and in sufficient quantities to ensure effective scheduling and delivery. Tyson will strongly encourage employees to take the vaccination.
“Tyson and Matrix have worked together throughout the pandemic to create clinically driven strategies to mitigate the risk of the virus in the workplace,” said Dr. Daniel Castillo, M.D., chief medical officer, Matrix Medical Network. “Providing vaccinations and healthcare monitoring to Tyson employees is the next step in a comprehensive approach to fighting COVID-19 and establishing new ways of maintaining workplace health and safety for the future.”
“Tyson workers are bravely serving on the frontlines so that millions of families can put food on the table during this crisis. Protecting these essential workers is vital to keeping our nation’s food supply secure as the pandemic worsens, and this new Tyson partnership is a critical step toward achieving that," said Mark Lauritsen, vice president, United Food and Commercial Workers International. "As the largest union for America’s food processing workers, UFCW will continue to work with industry leaders like Tyson in a unified effort to expedite vaccinations for workers who are essential to keeping our communities strong at this critical point in the pandemic."
This announcement is the latest in a series of steps the company has taken to fight new waves of the coronavirus, including the strategic testing of workers without symptoms. The company has invested more than $540 million to transform its U.S. facilities with protective measures, from walk-through temperature scanners and workstation dividers to social distance monitors and always-on testing, as well as provide additional team member pay and benefits. It is also working with outside health experts, expanding its health services staff, and plans to pilot health clinics for team members and their families early this year.
Tyson Foods is using testing as a tool and estimates more than half of its workforce has been tested for COVID-19. The company is currently testing thousands of workers per week as part of its industry-leading monitoring strategy. In addition to testing those with symptoms or who have been in close contact with someone who has the virus, the company is also proactively testing workers who have no symptoms.
Tyson has hired a chief medical officer and an additional 200 nurses and administrative staff this year, which means the company now has an occupational health staff of almost 600. These medical professionals screen for symptoms, conduct testing and track cases to help care for team members if they become ill. Tyson Foods’ medical professionals work with health and government officials and team members as part of the company’s efforts to help communities where we operate better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent spread. Long-term, these professionals will provide support for the company’s overall team member health and wellness efforts.
Source: Tyson Foods