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Vaccination clinic offers chance at free meat

Contributed photo JBS Marshalltown will host their third vaccine clinic open to the community on Saturday.

Free meat will be up for grabs at JBS Marshalltown’s upcoming community COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Anyone who receives a shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at Saturday’s event will receive a free half pork loin and anyone 21 and older will be entered into a drawing to win free beef, pork and chicken for a year. JBS Marshalltown’s clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its north parking lot at 402 N. 10th Ave.

JBS Marshalltown Human Resources Director Patrick Brue said the event is a part of the company’s efforts to lead a charge on increasing community vaccinations.

“The bottom line is that it’s the right thing to do,” Brue said. “It’s the right thing to do not just for our business, but for our community.”

JBS business units across the country are participating in the vaccination sweepstakes, “Your Shot At Free Meat For A Year,” to promote efforts.

“When we look at our own team at JBS Marshalltown being vaccinated at 84.5 percent and Marshall County being at around 48.5 percent, we know there’s an opportunity to try to help close that gap,” JBS Marshalltown General Manager Todd Carl said. “We feel like we have some resources to step up and try to facilitate that, encourage that and to make it easy and to make it fun.”

Games, music and food from the grill will all be available at Saturday’s clinic.

Carl said the company worked particularly hard to achieve JBS Marshalltown’s 84.5 percent vaccination rate of its workforce, hosting several on-site vaccination clinics while partnering with the Marshall County Public Health Department for the facility to have its own stock of vaccinations available.

“You’re always going to have a certain percentage of people that maybe don’t believe in it for religious reasons or for just what they’ve heard, they just don’t want any part of it,” Carl said.

“Getting those employees convinced by talking to people that they trust, getting those employees convinced by talking to medical professionals and putting those professionals in front of them has helped a lot.”

Every week, Carl said 20 to 30 more employees receive a vaccination.

Brue said he is aware vaccination clinics are struggling to get participants right now, but said JBS Marshalltown has been pushing the upcoming clinic heavily by making community leaders aware and getting information out to the public through advertisements plus through social media. The first vaccination clinic open to the public hosted by JBS Marshalltown saw 168 participants while the second had 80 participants. Carl said he’s hoping for Saturday’s clinic to be somewhere in between those participation numbers.

The upcoming clinic coincidentally aligns with rising COVID-19 infection rates in Iowa and across the country, with the emergence of the Delta variant.

“Just being ahead of it, we think the time is right,” Carl said. “We believe that the bigger percentage of vaccinated employees and community members in Marshalltown is certainly the right thing to do long term and we want to be a part of helping the community.”

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Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.

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