In a Wednesday letter obtained by Reuters, Amazon offered to help the new American president Joe Biden with the country's efforts to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine.
The retailer, which is the country's second largest employer behind Walmart, offered to open the doors of its many facilities around the country to help healthcare providers administer vaccines.
"We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts," Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, wrote in the letter, as quoted by Reuters.
Amazon "stands ready to assist you in reaching [Biden's] goal" of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of the president's first term.
Biden's newly released vaccine distribution plan also calls for mobilizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard, as well as leveraging community health centers and pharmacies to administer shots.
So far, the country's vaccination rollout has met plenty of hurdles and delays. According to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker, 17.2 million doses have been administered in the US to date, falling well short of federal projections.
Meanwhile, thousands of appointments are being cancelled as shipments of the vaccines have ground to a halt in light of dwindling supplies and a non-existent reserve for booster shots.
In light of all that, Amazon throwing its weight behind the national inoculation campaign could provide much-needed momentum. Amazon's facilities range from massive warehouses and shops to the Whole Foods grocery chain.
The online retailer's main strength will be to aid with "last mile" distribution, getting vaccines from distributions into arms. Complicating these efforts, however, is the fact that both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines need to be shipped inside freezers. Pfizer's in particular needs to be kept at ultra-cold storage between -80 and -60 Celcius.
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READ MORE: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with vaccinations [The Verge]
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