working together to save lives
corporate america meetsvaccine distribution
Throughout 2020 we witnessed a rise in corporate interest and investment in specific issues and causes across the nation heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as hunger relief and housing.
As we enter 2021, a new issue—COVID-19 vaccine distribution– is taking the corporate sector by storm and beginning to capture the hearts, minds and wallets of companies across sectors.
Rocket predicts that this is only the beginning, yet we’ve been pleased by the number of companies that are already putting a stake in the ground around supporting this unprecedented issue.
In addition to pharmacy brands like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Walmart and CVS having a strong participation in the vaccine roll-out, there are a number of other companies (some unlikely) stepping up to the plate.
Check out examples of companies below who have made commitments around this issue to support individuals and communities in ways we would have never imagined just one year ago.
global information and distribution
Gucci is making a $500,000 donation and matched funds raised for UNICEF’s work, dollar for dollar, up to an additional $100,000 through a 21-day challenge this past December. Gucci is donating $500,000 to UNICEF USA, the United Nations Children’s Fund, on behalf of the #GucciCommunity, to make sure that the future COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the most vulnerable communities around the world.
To encourage global solidarity, Gucci endorsed the “21-day challenge,” which ran Dec. 5 to 26. Individuals everyone were invited to give their donations, large or small, through the company’s online platform which Gucci matched an additional $100,000.
In April of last year, TikTok contributed USD 10 million in support of Gavi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution in lower-income countries in Africa. The donation was matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Gavi Matching Fund for a total of $20M.
Taking support efforts a step further, the company recently has taken actions in support of providing the TikTok community with access to trusted and authoritative information. In December, they updated the information hub in-app so that when people search for vaccine information in-app across the globe, they are directed to trusted information about the vaccine from respected experts.
TikTok also introduced a new vaccine tag to detect and tag all videos with words and hashtags related to the COVID-19 vaccine and attach a banner to these videos with the message ‘Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines’. This redirects the user to verifiable, authoritative sources of information.
Lastly, TikTok will continue its partnership with Team Halo. From the UK to South Africa, Brazil, the US and beyond, scientists all over the world have been posting video updates on TikTok, to show the world the progress being made on the vaccine. This team of public health heroes will be answering all kinds of questions from the public, from what steps go into building a vaccine to how they test them for safety – helping the TikTok community keep up to date on the latest Coronavirus vaccine news.
transportation and access
lyft, anthem, JPMorgan Chase
Lyft has partnered up with Anthem, JPMorgan Chase, and United Way to launch a universal vaccine access campaign.
“Making sure people can get to vaccination sites when they need to is mission critical to beating this virus,” Lyft Co-Founder and President, John Zimmer said. “This is an opportunity to use our collective strength to mobilize on a massive scale and serve our communities. We cannot let lack of transportation be a factor in determining whether people have access to healthcare.”
The universal vaccine access campaign is part of the company’s LyftUp initiative, a partnership of companies, community organizations and individuals working together to make sure everyone has access to affordable, reliable transportation to get where they need to go. Working together using Lyft’s transportation platform, companies and social impact organizations will help underserved communities access vaccination appointments by providing subsidized rides for employees and members, and free or discounted rides for those in need. In addition to directly funding rides, corporate partners will leverage their customers and member networks to promote individual contributions to the campaign as well as provide social media and marketing resources to connect people in need with community partners. Community partners will then route ride credits to those in need.
uber + moderna
Just last week, Uber and Moderna announced a new partnership to support the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. They will work together on providing accessible and credible information on vaccine safety through Uber’s in-app messaging. The two companies plan to work with public health and other organizations to identify other opportunities to support broadening access to the vaccines, and options include incorporate ride scheduling directly into the immunization appointment process, possible integration of vaccine providers’ systems to text reminders and enabling patients to book rides in advance for first or second immunization appointments.
local resources and distribution
Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco, Kaiser Permanente
Early this week, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced a series of new efforts to help boost the state’s Covid-19 vaccination plans, including partnerships with a series of companies including Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco and Kaiser Permanente. The state of Washington has established a public-private partnership between the health department and other business, health care and labor leaders, called the “Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center.” Each partnership will bring unique value to the table, all in an effort to distribute the vaccine in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Starbucks will provide operational support, focusing on helping to support the creation of vaccination centers that can scale with comfort and safety of local citizens in mind. Kaiser will help plan for mass vaccination clinics, Costco will support with vaccine delivery through pharmacies, as well as providing volunteer vaccinators, and Microsoft will bring technology expertise.
United Health Services (UHS)
M&T Bank, a local Binghamton, NY bank, recently announced a donation to UHS to support local coronavirus vaccine distribution. M&T Bank is giving the hospital network $20,000 that will help pay for equipment to hold and maintain each dose of the vaccine. The money will go toward refrigeration devices that will keep the vaccine cooled to required temperatures. M&T Bank Regional President Peter Newman says the vaccine is important for the economic recovery of the region and nation.
Pecos County Memorial Hospital, Reeves County Hospital & Ward Memorial Hospital
Chevron recently announced a donation of $60,000 to local hospitals in West Texas, including $20,000 to the Pecos County Memorial Hospital, the Reeves County Hospital, and Ward Memorial Hospital. The donations were made to help frontline healthcare workers as they continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ward Memorial Hospital will be using the monies received to go towards purchasing a plasma freezer and a COVID vaccine refrigerator as required by the state,” stated Leticia Rodriguez, CEO of the hospital. “The past three weeks have definitely been hard on our team with the spike in COVID cases, but this donation from Chevron will assist us in continuing to better serve the community.”
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Smithfield Foods Inc., the biggest global pork producer, said it would devote space in its ultra-low-temperature freezers to store vaccines. Smithfield has multiple “ultra-cold” freezers and will work with local authorities to provide assistance. Smithfield had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely store the COVID-19 vaccine at temperatures of minus 70 Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit), significantly below the standard for vaccines.
Trader Joe’s, Instacart, Dollar General
Various retailers with workforces who see a great deal of customer interaction are committing to pay their employees for vaccine distribution.
Last week, Trader Joe’s announced it will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine and will also shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated. Online grocery delivery company Instacart also announced last week that beginning Feb. 1, it will begin paying its workers $25 to offset them taking time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dollar General, which operates nearly 17,000 stores in 46 states, has committed to giving employees the equivalent of four hours of pay if they get the vaccine, to make up for time away from work. All have released statements reflective of their purpose to ensure employees do not have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work.
drop us a line.
Melanie NewellSenior Vice President, Rocket Social Impactmelanie@rocketsocialimpact.com