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Mass vaccinations to start at JBS-Grand Island Tuesday

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 3:06 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island health officials hope to vaccinate 70% of the work force at the JBS meat-packing plant by the end of this week.

This after a cluster of 23 cases of the coronavirus was discovered late last week among plant workers.

Executive Director Teresa Anderson of the Central District Health Department (CDHD) told Local4 that vaccinations will be done in two shifts each day this week, 8:30 am-2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., starting Tuesday. The vaccinations will be administered on site at the plant.

Anderson said the goal was to vaccinate 70% of the plant workers by the end of the week. While this will be beneficial to the community at some point, Anderson is concerned how long it will take for immunity to be built up among employees.

“Whenever we vaccinate anyone, it takes a few days 7 to 14 days to get that initial immunity,” she said. “Then that second dose is what really seals the deal and gets the stronger immunity. While we’re able to vaccinate now, we’re also fighting the clock on this.”

Anderson said CHI-Health personnel, CDHD staff and some volunteers would be giving out the shots to plant workers. The department also has a few factors in play to better communicate with all of their employees.

“We are working closely with the Multicultural Coalition to develop some billboards and some additional information that’s in languages,” Anderson said. “We’ll also have our interpreters there to answer any questions that may arise.”

Everyone involved in the clinics will be wearing both N-95 masks and face shields.

A report on Bloomberg.com indicated that JBS plant workers in Iowa, Colorado and other states would also be vaccinated this week.

In January, JBS announced that plant workers who got vaccinated would get a $100 bonus.

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