Amazon vies for its workers to get priority access to Covid vaccine

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An Amazon.com Inc worker prepares an order in which the buyer asked for an item to be gift wrapped at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, U.S., November 12, 2020.

Amazon.com Inc | Reuters

Amazon is pushing for front-line employees to get priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of retail operations, on Wednesday sent a letter to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel asking for warehouse workers, data center employees at Amazon Web Services and Whole Foods employees to “receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time.”

Clark emphasized that Amazon’s front-line workers have played an essential role helping consumers get necessary products during the coronavirus pandemic, as local governments ordered people to stay indoors and retail stores to close. He added that Amazon employs more than 800,000 people in the U.S., making it the nation’s second largest employer behind Walmart.

“We request that the ACIP continue to prioritize these essential workers who cannot work from home,” Clark wrote, referring to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an outside group of medical experts that advises the CDC.

Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Uber and DoorDash have urged officials to prioritize their drivers when it comes to vaccine distribution. Companies in the retail, airline, restaurant and meatpacking industries have also lobbied for priority access.

On Dec. 1, a CDC panel voted to give health-care workers and long-term care facility residents the first Covid-19 vaccine doses. The panel will soon vote on which groups should be prioritized in the second wave of recipients. Groups that are expected to be prioritized include vulnerable Americans, including people with underlying conditions, the elderly and essential workers.

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