QUINCY (WGEM) -- Blessing Hospital held a mass vaccination clinic Friday for local employers whose employees are a part of Phase 1B.
Blessing officials said they vaccinated roughly 600 employees from Neimann Foods Inc., Manchester Tank, Kohl Wholesale, Titan Wheel, Hy-Vee and Rack Builders Inc.
Kohl Wholesale HR Director Darla Rischar said getting 150 of their 410 employees vaccinated is a big deal.
"Our struggle is absenteeism due to the pandemic and we want to make sure we can have our people at work," she said.
Rischar said they're on the frontlines of the pandemic in their own way.
"We want to make sure our customers get our food products and get all the supplies that they need to continue to do their work," she said.
Niemann Foods Inc. Consumer Affairs Director Gerry Kettler said they're encouraging all their employees to get vaccinated.
"We're even actually paying for their time to leave the office and come in and get the shot," he said.
Kettler said they know people want to return to their pre-pandemic lives.
"So if this is a means to that, we are happy to do it," he said.
Blessing officials said the clinic is another step towards getting life back to normal.
"The more we can do to continue to vaccinate, educate will continue to allow our region to grow, the economy to open and I believe to remain safe," Jayne Pieper said.
But she said even with the vaccine, people still need to practice COVID safety measures.
"Even if you have the vaccine already, it's important to wear your mask, socially distance, follow the guidelines and continue to move this process forward," Pieper said.
Blessing officials said those employees in Phase 1B who missed today's clinic should call the Adams County Health Department to schedule a vaccination appointment.