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01/20/2021

Report: Amazon offers Biden help with COVID-19 vaccination

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is ready to provide operational and technical support to the new presidential administration’s efforts to vaccinate the population against COVID-19.

Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on Jan. 20 (the date of his inauguration) in which he said that Amazon has an agreement with a health care provider to administer vaccines on-site at its facilities and will move forward once doses are available, reported Reuters. In addition to offering the vaccine to Amazon employees, the online giant is “prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts,” Clark wrote. (The entire text of the letter was posted by CNBC.)

“As you begin your work leading the country out of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration,” Clark stated in the letter. “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.

According to CNBC, Amazon has requested that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) give its frontline workers receive COVID-19 vaccines as early as possible, given their role in providing consumers with necessary products. The NRF has made the same request for retail frontline workers in general.

Amazon’s efforts to mediate the spread of COVID-19 among its workforce have included working to develop its own COVID-19 test, as well as performing temperature checks, providing PPE, and applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to the camera footage in its buildings to help identify high-traffic areas and implement additional measures to improve social distancing.