CHICAGO (Reuters) – Meatpacker JBS USA said on Friday that nearly 700 workers at a pork production plant in Beardstown, Illinois, had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on site, calling it one of the largest vaccination efforts for food workers.
The workers at the plant would get the second dose in March, the company said. The plant employs more than 1,900 people.
JBS said last month it would offer $100 to workers who got the vaccine. Some meat plants had to shut down temporarily in spring 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Many U.S. employers have signaled that they would provide vaccine to workers, but so far supplies have been limited and made available primarily to health care workers and the elderly. Some states have opened up availability to essential workers, which could include meat plant workers.
JBS USA processes pork and beef and is the U.S. arm of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)