Could Amazon be a key player in the Covid-19 vaccination rollout?
Amazon, and specifically its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has endured plenty of flak during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the e-commerce monolith may be charting a path to wider moral redemption.
After criticism for raking in unprecedented wealth since last March, amid rows over employee sick pay, CEO Jeff Bezos believes Amazon can be a big part of ending the pandemic in the United States.
After a well-documented feud with former US president Donald Trump, Bezos is turning the page by offering the new Biden Administration help with distributing the Covid-19 vaccine around the United States.
In a letter written by Amazon executive Dave Clark (via NBC News), the company said it is prepared to offer-up its services in helping Biden meet vaccination goals in 2021. “Amazon stands ready to assist you in your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first hundred days of your administration,” Clark writes.
The company said it is “prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts. Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort.”
Clark says Amazon is shaping-up to vaccinate its 800,000 US employees with a quickness, after reaching an accord with a health care company to give the vaccines to its workers on-site.
“We have an agreement in place with a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to administer vaccines on-site at our Amazon facilities,” Clark writes. “We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available.”
The letter also points out the positive role Amazon has played during the pandemic, namely in bringing deliveries to vulnerable people who can’t get out to the shops. The company’s distribution network has certainly held-up to the swelling demand, aided by its drivers who’re taking the risk so those at-risk people don’t have to.
Now comes a chance for Amazon to emerge from the pandemic as the good guys, as the race to vaccinate populations gathers pace.