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Gov. Kelly announces meatpacking workers vaccination plan on virtual conference call

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 4:11 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has created a new plan to vaccinate all of Kansas’ meatpacking workers against COVID-19.

With the state launching efforts to get vaccines to meat packing plant workers like they did with K-12 teachers. Gov. Kelly said the meat packing workers stepped up to maintain and successfully food supply chain.

“Keeping quality food supply products in grocery stores and on the plates of our families across our nation, our world and our state,” she said.

Plants, such as the Tyson Plant in Emporia and the National Beef Plant in Liberal, will get additional vaccine does that will be earmarked for the meat plant workers.

Those who were involved with Gov. Kelly’s virtual conference call said those workers are essential to their communities. They are happy they can continue to work safely.

Monique Garcia of the Kansas Health Foundation said, “We’re so grateful for the commitment of the meat packing workers who showed up everyday to work on the front lines to ensure that our state’s and nation’s food supply and economy stayed on course.”

“To me, these workers, these heroes, rose to occasion so that the rest of us will actually keep food on our tables,” said Dodge City Commissioner Blanca Soto.

Ernesto De La Rosa, Dodge City Assistant City Manager/Legislative Affairs, said, “They are vital to our community, they are vital to our manufacturing and therefore, I can’t thank you enough for earmarking vaccines.”

Kelly said the goal is to get first dose shots into arms in the next week with some plants beginning vaccinations Thursday afternoon.

She said KDHE will be coordinating with local health departments and working directly with the meat packing plants as well to maintain efficiency in distribution.

“I know the past year has been incredibly difficult and especially for our high contact critical workers like our meat packers and our communities of color,” she said. “Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction

Kelly said the effort reaches to underserved communities, prominently Hispanic and African American communities, who are dis-proportionally affected by COVID-19.

“We’ve been working all along to communicate and ensure both the Latino community and other vulnerable populations and skeptical populations that this is a good thing and something that they really needed to do,” she said.

For those counties who believe they’ve taken care of their phase two residents, Kelly said to stop and not move into phase three.

“We’re asking them to hold back on that so that we can ensure that some of the other counties are able to get through their phase two and we keep people sort of on the same path,” she said.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has created a new plan to vaccinate all of Kansas’ meatpacking workers against COVID-19.

Almost a year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., Kansas’ Governor announced a new plan to vaccinate all meatpacking workers in Kansas against COVID-19. She said her new plan is similar to that of her plan to vaccinate all K-12 teachers and staff.

According to Gov. Kelly, every county that is home to a meatpacking plant will receive additional earmarked doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, on top of what they already receive to vaccinate the general population.

Gov. Kelly said every meatpacking worker that wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one by the end of the week of March 8. She said the vaccination process for meatpacking workers will start on Thursday, March 4.

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