Cummins vaccinates hundreds of employees, prepares for mobile clinic

Cummins Inc. has vaccinated several hundred employees and eligible dependents against COVID-19 over roughly the past week as the company prepares to hold a mobile vaccination clinic at its manufacturing plant in Walesboro.

Last week, Cummins officials confirmed the Columbus-based company had received 2,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and started vaccinating on-site employees and eligible dependents at the Cummins LiveWell Center, 806 Jackson St., this past Thursday.

Employees working remotely in Indiana were expected to be able to start signing up for vaccination appointments Wednesday, Cummins officials said.

Cummins Chief Medical Director Dr. Bob Chestnut said Tuesday that vaccinations had been running smoothly at the Cummins LiveWell Center, where vaccines are being administered Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The vaccinations are administered inside the building by three vaccine administrators as well as several other medical staff managing traffic control, registering people, checking them in and setting up follow-up appointments for the second dose, Chestnut said.

“We’ve given several hundred (doses),” Chestnut said. “I can say that we are on track that by midday (Wednesday), we will be giving our 500th dose. … That’s a number I’m excited about.”

The update on vaccination efforts from Cummins officials arrived as the company prepares to hold a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic Friday morning at the Columbus Midrange Engine Plant in Walesboro.

Cummins plans to hold subsequent clinics at the Cummins Engine Plant, Cummins Technical Center, Cummins Fuel Systems Plant and Seymour Engine Plant, Chestnut said.

Cummins is working to expand vaccine availability to employees in other states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Minnesota and New York, where the company is getting near to be able to do on-site vaccination, Chestnut said.

“Every state has had a unique rollout for their vaccines,” he said. “Many states do have a similar plan where they are working with employers. … Then as a global company, we’re also pursuing multiple opportunities in Mexico, Brazil, China, India, U.K., but they also have their own rollout plans, so we’re pursuing it wherever we can.”