Starbucks will assist the state of Washington with distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. The coffee chain has tasked 11 staffers who have knowledge in R&D, operations, and labor and deployment with full-time work on distributing the vaccine in Washington, NBC News reported, citing the company.
Those staffers who are tasked to work on distributing the vaccine will utilize the coffee chain’s computer simulation technology to detect methods to speed up vaccinations. The goal of the collaboration is to create a strong vaccine distribution network throughout the state’s nearly 40 counties and 30 tribal nations.
Moreover, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state is making plans for more than 2,000 pharmacies to provide shots and is putting drive-by vaccination locations into place. The official said Microsoft will create a location to give 5,000 shots daily.
“This is a unique challenge for the United States and in every state to stand up a total mobilization of our resources,” Inslee said, per the report. “We did that in World War II when we built the Liberty ships here in Washington state. We reached production levels that no one could imagine because we set ambitious goals.”
President-elect Joe Biden recently indicated that he would put the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) into place to assist in developing vaccination clinics throughout the nation.
The news comes as the pandemic has exposed the weak points of almost every institution that supports daily life – perhaps none so much as the American healthcare system. Hospitals have been strained, and testing can barely keep up with demand. Vaccine doses are left unused and, per some reports, have been left to expire.