Zandara Mitchell admits she was a bit nervous heading into a recent employee vaccination clinic at 3M headquarters. But as soon as Mitchell rolled up her sleeve to get the shot, her hesitation disappeared.
“I put that to the side because I’m not just thinking of myself, I’m thinking about others too,” said Mitchell, an executive assistant in 3M’s Safety and Industrial Business Group. “The vaccine is for everyone. It’s for people around you. It’s our future.”
The vaccination clinic Mitchell and hundreds of other 3Mers attended, is just another way 3M is helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 3M encourages everyone to get vaccinated when they have access to a government-approved vaccine and is working to help employees and their communities find access to those vaccinations.
To help in these important efforts, 3M has organized employee vaccine clinics at dozens of 3M facilities across the country in recent weeks. Employees who choose to be vaccinated at an offsite location are allowed up to four hours of paid time off to get their shot.
Allison Sager, a lab technician in the application engineering group in 3M’s Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division, was excited when she received an email announcing the vaccination clinic at 3M headquarters. For Sager, getting vaccinated meant feeling more comfortable spending time with family and friends – many of whom are frontline health care workers – and the prospect of getting out for some fun.
“It gives me hope for the future to do things like go to the Minnesota State Fair, go to concerts – the fun, summer stuff that we missed last year,” she said.
For Emily Skahan, getting vaccinated is a “step in the right direction,” not only in her personal life, but at work as well. Skahan is on the corporate events and sponsorships team at 3M.
“Zoom has been great and video has worked in the meantime,” she said. “But there’s going to be something really special about reuniting and engaging.”
During the pandemic, 3M has helped protect and support its more than 90,000 employees by offering remote work when possible and providing robust safety protocols in our plants, distribution centers and other sites.
3M is bringing people back to the workplace in phases, starting with those who need access to their workplaces to do their most innovative and collaborative work.
Mulugeta Dejene, a lab technician in the Advanced Materials Division, said the vaccination he received at the clinic is another layer of protection for him and his colleagues in the lab.
“Our job requires us to be here on campus,” Dejene said. “With R&D work you need to be in the lab and doing experiments. Getting the vaccination creates confidence for me and for others on the team.”
Daniel Harrison, a senior chemist in 3M’s Electronic Materials Solutions Division, was grateful to get the vaccine. He said he hadn’t been “hammered” by the pandemic, but when he was being vaccinated, his thoughts turned to those who hadn’t been so fortunate.
“We’re lucky to get the vaccine, lucky to live in a place where we can get it and I’m happy to work at a place that supplies it,” Harrison said.
The 3M facility in Valley, Nebraska, recently held its second vaccination clinic in coordination with a locally owned pharmacy. More than 100 employees took part in the event held under a large tent just outside the plant’s main building.
3M Valley’s occupational health nurse Barb Martin said employees were grateful to be able to receive their vaccination at work.
“It’s convenient,” she said. “Employees were able to get vaccinated on site without having to drive somewhere else. People were thankful for the opportunity and expressed hopefulness that it was a step toward normalcy.”
The relief employees experience in getting the vaccine extends to those employees giving the vaccine. 3M occupational health nurse Robin Huneke Rosenberg said vaccinating her fellow 3Mers was a rewarding experience.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to serve,” she said.
3M corporate physician, Gerardo Durand, has been on hand to help with the vaccination clinics at 3M headquarters. Dr. Durand saw both joy and relief on the faces of 3M employees at the clinics. While it’s up to employees to choose whether to get vaccinated, he encourages them to do so.
“It is an honor for the 3M Clinical Services team to be part of this unprecedented public health response to change the pandemic's course. It is very satisfying helping our employees to get protected and to contribute to their families and communities' wellness,” Dr. Durand said.