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Whirlpool Corp., which employs about 3,000 people in Amana, was among the Iowa manufacturers to turn to on-site vaccinations to protect employees from COVID-19.
In the week of March 10, the company vaccinated 1,170 employees with help from Walgreens staff.
R.J. Corning, Whirlpool’s senior director of human resources, told The Gazette at the time it was likely the global company’s first mass vaccination clinic.
“For something this size and scale, it’s the first for us,” Corning said.
Whirlpool also said it was open to expanding its vaccination site to include families of Whirlpool employees and the broader Amana community if health officials needed it.
“We do stand at the ready for that,” Corning said.
Whirlpool received the vaccines as part of Iowa’s Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, which included manufacturing workers who were unable to maintain social distancing.
What’s happened since
With vaccinations accessible to all Iowans 16 or older since April 5, employees no longer have needed to rely on Whirlpool’s on-site vaccinations to get a shot.
A Whirlpool spokesman did not provide a number for how many employees have now been vaccinated.
“We have had a strong turnout for our onsite vaccination clinics and believe our rate of fully vaccinated employees is trending above the state average,” spokesman Cean Burgeson said in an email to The Gazette.
As of Wednesday, 46.57 percent of Iowans 16 or older have been fully vaccinated, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
That would mean at least about 1,400 Whirlpool employees have been vaccinated.
The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based manufacturer “continues to strongly encourage” vaccinations, Burgeson said.
Burgeson said the company remains open to helping with community vaccination efforts.
“We value the close partnership with the state of Iowa and are open to exploring further opportunities to help provide vaccinations,” Burgeson said.
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