Vaccine Rollout Gets a New Corporate Volunteer

Amazon offers to help, also asks for its workers to be prioritized in terms of getting vaccinated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2021 12:11 AM CST
Amazon Offers to Help With Vaccine Rollout
In this Oct. 1, 2020 file photo, an Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon Warehouse location in Dedham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

A popular meme invokes the idea of training Amazon delivery drivers to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in order to roll it out as quickly as possible—and that may turn out to be not far from the truth, as Amazon sent President Biden a letter on Inauguration Day offering to leverage its "operations, information technology, and communications capabilities" to help with his goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his administration. Fox News notes that the company did not respond to a request for comment on why such help was not offered to the Trump administration.

But that wasn't the sole focus of the letter, CNN reports: Amazon also asked Biden to prioritize its more than 800,000 US-based workers when it comes to receiving the vaccine. Most of those employees work in essential roles at Amazon fulfillment centers, Amazon Web Services data centers, or Whole Foods stores. Amazon had previously made a similar request of the CDC; it has a plan in place for vaccines to be administered to workers at its facilities via a licensed third-party occupational health care provider. CNBC has a full copy of the letter to Biden. (Washington state is getting vaccine help from Starbucks and Microsoft.)

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