Throughout the pandemic, Amazon has faced criticism over its treatment of employees after many of its workers claimed the conditions weren’t safe.
However, the company has now promised to assist with the distribution of vaccines in the US. In a letter to President Joe Biden, Amazon’s chief executive said it was ready to help in the mass vaccination efforts across the country.
This follows a rollout of immunizations in major grocery chains. A number of large retailers, including Walmart, have pledged to get vaccines out as quickly as possible.
A number of grocery chains have also said they will prioritize their workers, many of which have faced big risks during the pandemic by working with the public. Amazon says it will aim to provide a similar scheme to protect its employees that can’t work from home.
How will Amazon help vaccination efforts?
Amazon’s announcement included details of an agreement it’s made with an unnamed healthcare provider. This will entail the use of its warehouses as vaccination sites. It has requested that its 800,000 workers receive the first doses.
Although the firm’s leaders won’t say how many of its employees have become ill, it has been met with criticism, and even a lawsuit, over the high number of cases. But, Amazon says it has invested $4 billion into Covid-19 initiatives so far.
The company says it’s prepared to move quickly and “leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise” to speed up the process.
It added, “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.”
The new president has promised to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccination in the next 100 days. With Amazon’s vast network and capabilities, this could increase the chances of reaching this ambitious target.