Cummins Inc. began offering COVID-19 vaccines for its workforce and their dependents through mobile on-site clinics on April 1 and has now administered its 30,000th vaccine. The company has hosted clinics across its operations in the United States, and also clinics in India and Mexico.
Nowhere has there been a better response to vaccine acceptance than in the Cummins Juárez site, where 95% of employees, more than 2,300 people, have been partially or fully vaccinated.
Cummins sites all over Mexico, in fact, have had an excellent response to vaccine education. As of publication, 4,800 team members have received at least their first dose of the vaccine in the country, and the program will continue as long as there is need.
“Like so many other parts of the world, Mexico has felt a strong impact from COVID-19, and has also experienced the effects of misinformation. Teams in Mexico and Latin America have created a successful, multi-point strategy of communication and education involving all personnel, their families and communities in the prevention of COVID-19,” said Bob Chestnut, Cummins Chief Medical Director. “We are encouraged by the results of these efforts in the region and hope to see similar vaccination rates as vaccines become more available around the world.”
This strategy was developed last spring through a thoughtful, people-centric process that involved polling employees at every level to truly understand their concerns about the vaccines and how best to help them make decisions for themselves and their families. Through local focus groups and more than 2,500 printed surveys for manufacturing employees, plant management found that there was a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines. When they coupled this information with the results from the company’s global employee survey about vaccines, it was found that more than 70% of team members had doubts about taking the vaccine.
“We designed a communication campaign to inform our employees through our Medical Service team, who are a trusted source of information. Medical experts met with employees all over the country, and the direct approach of our leaders to clarify any doubts and motivate voluntary vaccination was a key factor in our success,” said Ignacio Rodríguez, Juárez Site leader.
The campaign had many tactics aimed at helping employees make their decision about vaccines. Grandes Razones (Great Reasons) was released in Latin America, which shared the voices of experts together with those of staff about the reasons to vaccinate. The company produced educational videos for both local TV stations and social networks during the peak of the pandemic, and health kits were distributed with information about the vaccine and how to prevent infection. Most importantly, medical teams in Mexico held webinars and onsite sessions directly with employees.
“I think the most important part of our campaign was personal, small meeting groups with the medical team and site leadership to really understand team members’ concerns in relation to COVID, the vaccine, and prevention measures in the community,” added Ignacio. “Of course, customer demand was high during these months, so it was a challenge to take team members from the shop floor for these meetings and to visit the vaccination clinics, but we knew how vitally important it was for plant leadership to facilitate access to the vaccines.”
To date, Cummins has hosted clinics in the following U.S. communities: Columbus, Indiana; Seymour, Indiana; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Cookeville, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee; Jamestown, New York; Fridley, Minnesota; and Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The company has also hosted clinics in Mexico and India.