Walmart has begun administering vaccines in 10 states across the country.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in the United States, the Biden administration faces a huge task – meeting its goal of vaccinating 100 million people in its first 100 days. Currently, only 19 million people have received their first dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A growing list of companies, including Walmart and Amazon, are lining up to help in that effort. Companies also hope their employees will be able to get vaccinated soon, although state plans vary widely on when essential workers can start getting vaccinated.
Walmart, which has more than 5,000 pharmacies in the United States, has begun administering vaccines in 10 states and in Puerto Rico. Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Walmart’s executive vice president of health and wellness, wrote on the company’s blog that she had been preparing by preparing staff and creating a digital scheduling tool.
“We expect to be able to deliver between 10 and 13 million doses per month when supplies and allocations allow,” Pegus wrote. He also said the company was “prepared” to help vaccinate people in sanitary deserts and underserved communities, through partnerships with churches, youth centers and stadiums.
Amazon, which recently opened a vaccine clinic at its Seattle headquarters, sent a letter to the president on Wednesday Joe biden offering to help with the vaccination efforts of the United States.
“We are prepared to act quickly once vaccines are available,” wrote Dave Clark, Amazon’s managing director for the global consumer business. In the letter Clark noted that a large number of the company’s 800,000 employees cannot work from home.
The company is also working with Virginia Mason Medical Center to administer the vaccines to the public. Amazon is providing equipment, staff and supplies, and Virginia Mason is handling appointment scheduling and patient follow-up for their second dose, announced Green Kuper, a company spokesman.
Washington State enlisted the help of Starbucks, Costco, Microsoft to receive help with the logistics of the vaccine distribution, according to a report from the Seattle Times.
Related: Dollar General will pay its workers to search for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Retailers are also on the lookout for when their employees can get vaccinated as each state has different vaccination plans on when workers in grocery stores, warehouses, public transportation, and other essential jobs will be able to access vaccine.
Companies and associations are also pushing for the vaccine to reach them. Companies like Uber Y Lyft are offering free rides to vaccine appointments, while also looking for early doses for their drivers, reported The Wall Street Journal.
It seems unlikely that companies will require all their employees to be vaccinated, however they can play a role in informing employees when they will be eligible and reminding them that they will need to receive their second dose.
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