Cummins begins vaccinating employees

Cummins Inc. has started vaccinating employees against COVID-19 and plans to hold mobile vaccine clinics at five of its facilities in southern Indiana next week as part of a state program aiming to distribute vaccines to large employers across the state.

The Columbus-based company has received 2,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and started vaccinating on-site employees and their families at the Cummins LiveWell Center, 806 Jackson St., on Thursday, said company spokeswoman Katie Zarich.

Cummins plans to open up vaccinations to remote workers in Indiana on Wednesday and start holding mobile vaccine clinics at five southern Indiana facilities on Friday, Zarich said.

Employees, contingent workers, spouses and dependents age 16 and up are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the Cummins LiveWell Center, Zarich said.

Cummins employs about 10,000 people in Indiana, including about 8,000 in the Columbus area.

“To remove barriers to vaccination and expedite the process for our on-site employees, they will have first access to scheduling appointments at the LiveWell Center in Columbus and at certain southern Indiana facilities as communicated on-site by those locations,” Zarich said. “Employees currently working on-site can schedule an appointment at their facility or the LiveWell Center”

Cummins is one of about a dozen employers in Indiana in a state program aimed at getting vaccines to large employers and institutes of higher education.

On Wednesday, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer at the Indiana State Department of Health, said state officials allocated 24,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to participating businesses.

“Our business and industry efforts are focused initially on those businesses that have 1,000 employees,” Weaver said.

Locally, other large employers are hoping to get access to COVID-19 vaccines for employees, but have not yet been able to secure vaccine doses, including Toyota Material Handling North America.

“We have been continually requesting access to the vaccine but have not been granted it yet,” Toyota Material Handling officials said. “We were hoping to gain early access to it as an essential business but to date have not had any luck.”

As of Friday morning, 22,951 Bartholomew County residents had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or roughly 27% of the county’s population, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Additionally, 14,821 Bartholomew County residents were fully vaccinated as of Friday morning, or 17.7% of the county’s population. That includes 484 local residents who had received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.