BUFFALO, WV (WOWK) – The only Toyota manufacturing plant in the Mountain State has gone above and beyond for its workers and their families this weekend. The plant became the first Toyota affiliate globally to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
The cars came in and out all day on Saturday, but this wasn’t a normal shift change at the Toyota plant. For the first time anywhere in the world, Toyota held a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
Coordinated through the state of West Virginia and the state’s National Guard, the employees and their families became the first individuals affiliated with Toyota to participate in a mass vaccination event.
According to the plant’s medical director Amy Casto, their hoping to set the example for other plants.
We’ve got some other people from our Toyota plant in Georgetown supporting us and coming down to try to learn the way to do it, so they can offer it there also.Amy Casto, Buffalo, WV Toyota plant medical director
Many employees were given the “Johnson and Johnson” vaccine inside the plant on Friday. As for the remaining employees and their families, the drive-thru event was more convenient.
A family member of a Toyota employee Kimberly Justice says the process was easier than expected.
I hate shots, so it was really awesome. I expected to get two doses, but I was really relieved to hear I just had to get one-shot. So, that was really awesome.Kimberly Justice, Toyota employee family member
After receiving their shot, each person was given a post-it with the time they were vaccinated. Each car had to wait 15 minutes before leaving the parking lot to guarantee there were no complications with the shots.
Staff with FamilyCare Health Centers and members of the West Virginia National Guard say they were glad to have the opportunity to collaborate with one of the biggest employers in the area.
This was a one-day event, but a spokesperson for Toyota says if they need to do an additional day for other employees they’re willing to do so, if more doses are made available.