Tyson Foods' New Vaccine Mandate For Employees Has Twitter Divided

Tyson Foods has become the latest company to require employees to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. "It is abundantly clear that getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities," Donnie King, the CEO of Tyson Foods, wrote in a memo quoted by NBC News.

Responses on Twitter have ranged wildly. Most welcomed the news, like this person: "This will make a huge difference as it targets at risk individuals in large number." Many others, however, remember that in the early days of the pandemic, it was alleged that plant managers at Tyson Foods were making bets about how many workers would test positive for COVID-19 (per Iowa Capital Dispatch). So, the corporate stewardship Donnie King is attempting now rings somewhat hollow. "The same Tyson that took bets on how many employees would get COVID a year ago??" one incredulous user asked before concluding, "Let them. Still never eating their products again."

And, of course, there were those who maintain that there is an ethical issue with mandating a vaccine in a workplace: "I'm sorry but to make it a requirement of employment to have an non-FDA approved vaccine with known side-effects and no guarantee to prevent contraction of the virus is absolutely wrong for half a dozen reasons."

The actual issue with Tyson's plan

In addition to these issues, Tyson's plan raised some logistical questions. NBC relates that Tyson will give workers who get vaccinated a $200 bonus in addition to pay for the hours they would miss by taking time off to receive the vaccine. "Saw the mention of four paid hours to get the vaccine outside of work," wrote journalist Staci D. Kramer on Twitter. "Will Tyson cover time off for reactions to vaccines? Or to get [household] members vaccinated?" For some, the recovery period can extend for days after receiving the vaccine (per HealthAffairs). Without sufficient paid time off, some workers could lose more money than what has been offered as an incentive.

Such concerns raise even further questions. Mashable, for one, reminds us that it takes two weeks for the vaccine to reach efficacy, and it's crucial to wait those two weeks before gathering with others or being in public unmasked. So whether you agree or disagree with Tyson's requirement, it seems like they may not have totally thought this thing through.