The vaccine for COVID-19 is finally here, but it’s doing no good just sitting in a freezer. It needs to get into peoples’ arms, and that’s a big problem when you’re dealing with millions and millions of arms. In order to maintain social distancing, you need a lot of space, and there just aren’t that many places with that kind of space.
Washington State is lucky, though. Microsoft Headquarters located in Redmond has been mostly vacant for almost a year as everyone moved to work from home. The sprawling campus is normally home to over 47,000 people during work hours, but now it’s a virtual ghost town.
Which makes it the perfect spot to turn into a mass vaccination site.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced plans today for the state’s vaccine rollout, with a goal of getting up to 45,000 vaccines distributed per day. Microsoft is going to be a big part of that plan by not only offering “technology expertise and support” but also offering real estate to medical professionals distributing the vaccine.
“We applaud today’s critical steps to accelerate vaccine distribution,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Microsoft is one of many local companies lending a hand with the confidence that together, we can move faster to defeat this virus.”
Smith announced during Governor Inslee’s press conference that Microsoft HQ would serve as one of the state’s vaccination sites. According to GeekWire, the company will reduce the cost of getting the vaccine and also ensure that uninsured people are also vaccinated.
“This is not going to be a site for Microsoft employees; this is going to be a site for people in the community,” Smith added.
Microsoft isn’t alone in helping Washington get vaccinated. Starbucks is lending “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise, and support,” while Costco will help by delivering vaccines at its pharmacies. Local unions and the National Guard are also taking part in the logistical challenge of getting millions of residents vaccinated.
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