Amazon has offered help to newly-appointed US President Joe Biden to help meet vaccination goals. The new US administration plans to provide vaccine to 100 million US citizens in the first 100 days of office. The online retailer is now emphasizing the role of the 800,000 Amazon employees as “systemically important workers” who ensure that customers can receive products and services at home during the crisis. Most of the employees are unable to work from home, which is why they should be vaccinated “at the earliest appropriate time”, according to Amazon.
Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s Consumer Business, explains in the Letter available to Arstechnica, show yourself ready to support the government in matters of distribution, IT and communication. Amazon has also reached an agreement with a medical service provider and is able to vaccinate employees in its own facilities as soon as the required vaccine doses are available.
Clark had already contacted the CDC in December to ensure that the Amazon workforce was vaccinated quickly. There were similar efforts by the driving service providers Uber and Lyft. Both companies are pressing for prompt vaccinations for drivers, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the companies are in talks with those responsible from the healthcare sector about the possibility of offering free trips to vaccination appointments for low-income people. Uber is also planning to work with vaccine manufacturer Moderna to disseminate information about the safety of vaccinations via the ride-sharing app.
Work safety under criticism
Amazon is one of the winners of the Corona crisis and hired a record number of new employees last year. Hundreds of thousands of people work in the US parcel and logistics centers. The effectiveness of Amazon’s precautions to protect employees from corona infections was recently discussed. The service union ver.di reported outbreaks in this country in the shipping centers in Garbsen, Bayreuth and Borgstedt during the last Christmas business. In the US, around 19,000 employees were infected with Covid-19 by September 19, announced Amazon in a blog post at the beginning of October 2020.