Story at a glance
- Politico reports that Amazon, Airbnb and Google are among the high-profile tech firms that may partner with the federal government to help with vaccine distribution.
- Amazon made developments in the pharmaceutical delivery space in 2020.
The Biden administration is reportedly in talks with big tech to help with the tangled COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with companies like Amazon, Google and Airbnb as possible contenders to partner with the federal government.
Politico reports that vaccine distribution, designated spaces for vaccinations and free advertising opportunities are all possible solutions to help distribute the vaccine.
“We are consulting with many companies, including Amazon, about specific ways they can help execute the President’s national strategy against COVID,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz told reporters. “Companies with logistics and technical expertise could help Americans get vaccinated more efficiently and more equitably.”
These negotiations reflect the private industry’s strength and organization that makes it competitive with government agencies like the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in regards to facilitating vaccinations.
Silicon Valley has also taken steps to enter the pharmacy industry over the past few months. In November, Amazon made headlines announcing its new Amazon Pharmacy venture, which would allow Prime members to order prescription medications for home delivery.
The supply of vaccines is expected to remain steady, with pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna announcing on Tuesday that it intends to provide 100 million doses to the U.S. government by the end of March.
Tech companies have indicated that they would be willing to help the government distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses. Politico further notes that Amazon executive Dave Clark sent a letter to Biden on Inauguration Day, writing “we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise.”
Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth later told reporters that Amazon remains committed to helping the Biden administration.
“We are committed to assisting governments with vaccination efforts as we work together to protect our workers and continue to provide essential services during the pandemic,” Seth said.