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Tyson Foods drops vaccine requirement

by John Magsam | November 21, 2022 at 11:14 a.m.
FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2021 file photo, Tyson Foods team members receive COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at the Wilkesboro, N.C. facility. Tyson Foods will require all of its U.S. employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming one of the first major employer of frontline workers to so amid a resurgence of the virus. Tyson, one of the world’s largest food companies, announced Tuesday, Aug. 3, that members of leadership team must be vaccinated by Sept. 24 and the rest of its office workers by Oct. 1. (Melissa Melvin/AP Images for Tyson Foods File)

Springdale-based Tyson Foods confirmed Friday that it no longer requires workers to be vaccinated against covid-19.

In a statement, the company said that while covid-19 remains a health concern, it no longer presents the same threat as it did 15 months ago, when Tyson Foods decided to require vaccination. The company noted severe infections have decreased significantly and many resources are available to fight the virus including testing, boosters and improved treatments.

Tyson Foods began encouraging workers to be vaccinated as soon as vaccines became available but made the vaccination mandatory Aug. 1, 2021, when the omicron variant of covid-19 was sweeping the country. Workers were required to be vaccinated by Nov. 1 of that year.

The company noted Friday that masks at plants will still be required in certain circumstances; self screening for covid-19 symptoms will still be enforced; testing will continue for workers with covid-19 symptoms; and the company encourages boosters and will offer booster clinics for its employees.

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