Amazon is asking the US to include the warehouse and grocery workers in the vaccine rollout

(Reuters) Inc on Wednesday asked the US government to prioritize critical workers, including the warehouse, grocery store and data center personnel, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter from Reuters.

The request shows how the country’s second-largest private employer, with 800,000 employees in the United States, believes the vaccine is important to keep its workforce safe and its facilities open. The US National Retail Federation also made a similar request on behalf of the industry on Wednesday.

Administration of the vaccine began in the United States on Monday, after approval for emergency use last week. Early doses have been reserved for health professionals and nursing home residents.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president for global operations, said the company supports giving the vaccine to healthcare professionals and that key workers should be next, in line with an October government vaccination plan. His letter was addressed to the head of an advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called ACIP.

“We urge ACIP to continue to prioritize these vital workers who cannot work from home, such as those who work at Amazon fulfillment centers, AWS data centers and Whole Foods Market stores, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. he wrote. . Amazon owns the supermarket chain Whole Foods and operates the cloud computing business AWS.

The letter was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio