DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. bought a dozen ultra-cold freezers to store a COVID-19 vaccine that —once available— will be distributed to employees on a voluntary basis.
The Dearborn-based automaker said the freezer purchase is the first step in a broader vaccine distribution plan, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.
“The health and safety of our workforce is our top priority,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said Tuesday.
“We’ve got a lot of safety protocols we have in place right now that are requirements in our plants and facilities,” Felker added. “This would be another layer on top of what we’re already doing to help keep our employees safe. We do take COVID very seriously.”
General Motors hasn’t bought any freezers for vaccine storage but said it’s taking steps to make a vaccine available to its employees, according to The Detroit News.
At least three major drug companies have reported late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as the world waits for scientific breakthroughs that will end a pandemic that has pummeled the world economy and led to 1.4 million deaths.
Ford worker Dvaughn Fisher, 25, of Monroe told The Detroit News that he’s not yet ready to trust any COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s too soon,” said Fisher, who works the line at Ford’s Dearborn truck plant. “I won’t be taking it from Ford. Ford owns a truck plant. It’s not a hospital or a medical center. I keep my distance, keep my mask on, glasses, and clean up when I get home.”
Having a plan to administer vaccines once they’re available makes “a lot of sense— to keep the assembly line and development processes rolling along,” Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research President Carlo Bailo told the Detroit Free Press.
“This is not the first time that the companies have done health checks or even offered health facilities on site. It used to be standard,” Bailo said.