AMAZON wrote to President Biden offering to assist with communication and technology. Microsoft is opening up its largely empty office campus as a vaccination center as part of a broader partnership with the State of Washington.

Starbucks is assigning workers from its operations and analytics departments to help design design vaccination sites, donating the labor to Washington State while continuing to pay employees.

While some retailers and pharmacy chains have been directly involved in the rollout of coronavirus vaccinations, more surprising is the number of companies that have offered help despite having little to do with health care.

What these companies do have are vast national footprints, significant manpower, huge distribution warehouses and, in some cases, empty office buildings. And they have the money to spare for a public service effort that could boost their public image and their bottom line.

''Big companies can think big,'' said Arthur Herman,, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. ''They can afford to step back and think about their role as a social force in their state and in the country. They also have enormous supply chains and logistical connections.''

As President Biden tries to accelerate vaccination efforts, he will need all the help he can get. The President has asked Congress for $20 billion to help fund the vaccinations at stadiums , pharmacies and the like.

He has tapped the Federal Emergency Management Agency to operate up to 100 mass vaccination sites.

But the private sector could assist the administration's efforts with data storage, appointment scheduling, the delivery of supplies to clinics and hospitals, and more.

''Amazon, Google, Microsoft, these guys are consumer-facing people who can deal with billions of transactions on a daily basis,'' said Seketu Gandhi, a partner at Kearney, a management and consulting firm.

Washington State's governor, Jay Inslee, included the help of companies like Starbucks, Costco and Microsoft on a plan to vaccinate 45,000 residents a day.

''We are not a health care company,'' Kevin Johnson, the chief executive of Starbucks, said at a news conference announcing the partnership last month, ''but Starbucks does operate 33,000 stores at scale, serving 100 million customers a week.

And we have a worldclass team of human-centered-design engineers who are working under the direction of of the state, and health care providers like Swedish, Kaiser Permanente and others.''

The coffee chain will lend its expertise in ''operational efficiency'' among other things, Governor Inslee said in a news release.

The World Students Society thanks authors Gillian Friedman and Lauren Hirsch.


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