Meridian business reacts to vaccine mandates

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - An OSHA mandate requiring employee COVID-19 vaccinations in businesses that have over 100 workers, or weekly testing for employees, was sent out this week.

“It’s a little bit of an overreach by the government,” said Mitchell Distributing director of human resources, Landry Adkins.

Despite being pro-vaccine, Mitchell Distributing in Meridian said it believes in its employees’ right to choose.

“I’m over 65; my circumstances are as such that I chose to get the vaccine early. But if I were 35, 40, and healthy, I might have chosen a different path,” Adkins said.

There have only been two cases of COVID-19 traced back to the workplace at Mitchell Distributing. The company says the safety measures it has in place are already working.

“It hurts us, and it hurts them; especially it hurts that we have taken the steps necessary to keep our workplace safe,” Adkins said.

Mitchell Distributing only has 60 days to comply with those standards. Adkins says there’s a lot of uncertainty and hard decisions to be made in that time.

“It could get to the point where those employees, valued employees to us, have to make a decision, if I don’t want to take the vaccine I’m going to have to find someplace else to work,” Adkins said.

If businesses violate the mandate they could face thousands of dollars in fines.

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