Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco to help Washington’s vaccine distribution

Washington is working with private companies based in the state to help accelerate its coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the statewide public-private partnership — which includes Costco, Starbucks and Microsoft — called the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center.

The partnership will be led by the state’s Department of Health and all participating organizations will work together to develop a framework to deliver vaccines in Washington “as effectively and efficiently as possible,” Inslee’s office said in a Medium post on Monday.

“This is a massive effort, and as noble as any cause will be in 2021: Because this is the year we choose to get vaccinated, Washington,” Inslee said at a press conference Monday.

“We are removing as many impediments as possible to Washingtonians getting vaccinated, we are going to deliver every dose that comes into our state,” he added. “We will still be dependent on the federal government for doses, but we are doing everything we can once it gets here.”

According to the Medium post, each organization participating in the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center will “focus on a different facet of vaccine distribution.”

For example, Starbucks’ responsibilities will focus on “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support,” the Medium post said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will focus on “technology expertise and support” and Costco will be responsible for “vaccine delivery by pharmacies,” according to the post.

Other organizations involved in the partnership include the National Guard, health care company Kaiser Permanente, health care union SEIU 1199NW, private sector employee union UFCW 21, the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) and SeaMar, a collection of health centers in Washington state.

According to the medium post, the partnership will help Washington reach its goal of 45,000 vaccinations per day.