Amazon Prime Good For Groceries, Toiletries…And Vaccines?

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

February 1, 2021

My family and I love Amazon Prime. Back in the day, when we were able to go outside without having to wear a hazmat suit to avoid infection, we used it occasionally. But once the pandemic hit and we hunkered down indoors, we starting using Amazon Prime for everything: Groceries, toiletries, books, video games, toys for my 2-year-old son. It’s so easy to use. I just go onto the Amazon app, type in what I want, click “buy now,” and often by the next day my order arrives. It’s that simple. I might never shop outside again.

So when I heard that Amazon was among the growing number of big-name companies—along with Walmart, Starbucks, Microsoft and others—that were teaming up with local governments and medical providers to distribute coronavirus vaccines to the general public, I was beyond thrilled. After all, Amazon already makes my life so easy in so many ways. Why not utilize its infrastructure to improve my health, not to mention the health of millions of other Americans, as well?

“Big retailers are in an ideal position to help with the vaccine rollout because their core businesses are already geared around serving millions of customers day in and day out. They have locations right across the country and they have national distribution and logistics networks that are efficient and effective in getting products to every corner of the nation,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail in New York.

“They’re basically already doing what the government needs to do with vaccines. Moreover, a lot of the very big firms like Amazon and Walmart employ so many people that they can kick-start the program by vaccinating their own staff.”

Walmart has been preparing to offer the vaccine at 5,000 U.S. locations. Recently, the retailer began making inoculations available through its stores in seven states, plus Chicago and Puerto Rico. The company expects to deliver 10 million to 13 million doses a month, “when supply and allocations allow,” through its pharmacies and events in underserved communities.

“Walmart has the reach and the qualified, trained pharmacists and pharmacy staff to partner with community organizations to provide vaccination services at third party locations like churches, stadiums and youth centers,” the retailer said in a news release.

“With 150 million people passing through our doors each week, we’re in a unique position to reach people where they already shop.”

Last month, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced a public-private alliance with Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco and other homegrown brands to deliver vaccines in the state “as effectively and efficiently as possible.” Also, Amazon is partnering with a Seattle hospital to deliver as many as 2,000 vaccinations to the public this weekend through a pop-up clinic.

Now all of this does beg the question: Do Americans trust major CPGs to help administer these vaccines? One thing’s for sure: They don’t trust the federal government to do so. According to a recent poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly two-thirds of adults believe the government is doing a “fair” or “poor” job distributing vaccines to states, and 60% rated their own states negatively in terms of distribution efforts.

The day might not be coming where I can just order a COVID-19 vaccine through Amazon and have it delivered to my door. But I’ve put a lot of trust in its apparatus with many aspects of my life and haven’t been disappointed. Might as well trust it to help protect me from a deadly virus.

Nevin Barich is the Consumer Products Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. To arm yourself with the latest market intelligence, contact Ask us about our interactive intelligence map and search bot on Microsoft Teams.

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