Starbucks will be instrumental in Washington State’s vaccine rollout

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Photo: LOIC VENANCE (Getty Images)

However you feel about Starbucks, it’s undeniable that the operation has maximized efficiency in pretty much every possible way. Meanwhile, the U.S. is caught in a decidedly inefficient, unjust COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Do you see where I’m going with this?

On Monday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a new plan to ramp up the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. That plan includes lowering the age of vaccine eligibility from 70 to 65, requiring suppliers to administer 95% of their doses within a week of receipt, and creating the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC), a coalition of public and private companies working together to accelerate vaccine distribution. Key players include Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and—you guessed it—Starbucks.


According to NBC News, the Seattle-based coffee titan has assigned several of its employees “with expertise in labor and deployment operations, and research and development” to work with WSVCCC on the vaccination plan. No, Starbucks isn’t turning its cafes into vaccination megaplexes (yet), but the company’s product deployment experts may be able to help Washington State’s vaccine rollout operate more efficiently.

“This is an opportunity to serve others and have impact on a significant humanitarian effort,” Starbucks President and 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.”