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Starbucks to help boost COVID-19 vaccination effort in Washington state

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
·1 min read
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Starbucks (SBUX), which already knows how to deliver shots of espresso quickly, is joining the effort to provide COVID-19 vaccine shots in its home state of Washington.

On Monday, Starbucks and several other businesses joined forces with Washington Governor Jay Inslee to establish the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC) a public-private partnership to help with vaccine logistics.

To be clear, Starbucks stores are not serving as vaccination sites. Instead, Starbucks plans to assist in site selection, and aid in “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support,” according to the WSVCCC. Washington state’s goal is to reach 45,000 vaccinations per day with the partnership.

"This is an opportunity to serve others and have impact on a significant humanitarian effort,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement, which complemented the governor’s effort to marshal public and private resources.

“We are proud to contribute in every way we can to help operationalize and scale equitable access to the vaccine," Johnson added.

Starbucks has employees, known internally as “partners,” from across operations services. Those include labor and deployment, analytics and insights, store development, food safety, and regulatory divisions working on the vaccine effort.

Starbucks is also using its Tryer Center, an innovation lab where employees usually test and try beverages, prototype and build new equipment, to create processes to simulate vaccination sites focused on efficiency and throughput, and the patient experience.

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.