Starbucks announced Monday that it's joining a statewide coalition to help Washington improve distribution of the COVID vaccine.
The private-public partnership, known as the Washington State Vaccines Command and Coordination Center, brings together top public and private resources to “optimize an accelerated, safe and equitable vaccination process” across the state.
Starbucks will use expertise to assist with site selection across 39 counties and 29 tribal nations. The company will lend several employees across operation services, labor and deployment, analytics and insights, store development, food safety and regulatory, and the Tryer Center, an innovation lab working to improve vaccination sites.
The state described Starbucks’ main responsibilities as “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support.” NBC News reported that employees will use the brand’s computer simulation modeling system to explore ways to accelerate vaccinations.
“This is an opportunity to serve others and have impact on a significant humanitarian effort,” said CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “Governor Inslee has convened some of the best public and private resources and capabilities to engage in a concerted effort to optimize and accelerate the vaccination process across our home state. We are proud to contribute in every way we can to help operationalize and scale equitable access to the vaccine.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has set a goal of 45,000 vaccinations per day. Currently, roughly 31,600 in the state have received both doses so far, and the state has a population of 7.6 million people.
Other notable brands assisting with the effort include Microsoft, which is providing technology expertise and support, and Costco, which is helping with vaccine delivery by pharmacies.
“This is a massive effort, and as noble as any cause will be in 2021: Because this is the year we choose to get vaccinated, Washington,” Inslee said during a press conference Monday. “We are removing as many impediments as possible to Washingtonians getting vaccinated, we are going to deliver every dose that comes into our state. We will still be dependent on the federal government for doses, but we are doing everything we can once it gets here.”
Midway through January, roughly 1.6 million across the U.S. have received both doses of the vaccine. Previously the Trump administration promised that 20 million would be vaccinated by the end of 2020. President-elect Joe Biden recently unveiled a plan to administer 100 million vaccines in 100 days.