12/08/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2021 13:34
Getting vaccinated is the most important thing our employees can do to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19. Amazon has hosted more than 1,800 on-site vaccination events for front-line employees since March, and we continue to innovate on behalf of employees to keep them and our communities safe and healthy.
Before the COVID-19 vaccines were available, we were already working on ways to support front-line employees once they became eligible for vaccinations. Those plans included a personalized, hands-on approach led by Dr. Vin Gupta, Amazon's chief medical officer of COVID-19 response, to educate employees on the importance of vaccination and to fight vaccine hesitancy head on.
What started as a handful of events at our operations sites grew to more than 40 in-depth education sessions and personal interactions reaching an estimated 200,000 employees from Amazon Operations, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Pharmacy, and Whole Foods Market. Today, Dr. Gupta and his team are working to scale those events even further by creating virtual events and working with Amazon Care clinicians and on-site operations medical representatives to plan, host, and lead these events themselves.
In October, a team of clinicians working with Amazon Care, our health care app that connects customers in select locations to virtual and in-person care, visited four fulfillment centers to meet one-on-one with employees, answer questions, and dispel myths about getting vaccinated. This personalized approach increased vaccination signup by more than 35%-and by as much as 71% at some sites following the meetings in Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Miami and Jacksonville, Florida.
Lindsey McKeen--chief clinical officer for Care Medical, Amazon Care's clinical services provider--recently led a team of Care Medical nurse practitioners who supported the on-site events. McKeen credits her team of dedicated clinicians for making the events a success.
"Our goal was to make sure employees felt safe and comfortable," said McKeen. "We also wanted to make sure employees received information from skilled clinicians who lived near their communities and who could relate to them on a personal level."
Her team's job is to provide science-based facts and resources to help employees make the decision for themselves.
"This is a difficult time for so many people," said McKeen. "It's important to acknowledge that in our discussions and build a connection. We provide information that's science-based and peer-reviewed to help people understand the facts."
Yauna Williams, advanced nurse practitioner for Care Medical supported McKeen at the vaccine events in Atlanta. She met with employees who thought the vaccine was made too fast and were concerned about the long-term effects. Williams was able to provide data and resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help educate employees about the vaccines so they could make an informed decision about choosing to be vaccinated.
"We hear a lot about how having a health care professional come to the workplace means a lot to Amazon employees," said Williams. "When we tell our own personal stories about the vaccine, it helps them understand that they're not alone in this."
Since beginning on-site vaccination events in March 2021, Amazon has made COVID-19 vaccines available to more than 1 million Amazon employees and their family members. In the U.S., we also offer a $40 per-dose incentive for front-line employees. And for fully vaccinated new hires, we offer a $100 sign-on bonus. Most recently, we launched the "Max Your Vax" Sweepstakes featuring nearly $2 million in prizes for U.S. front-line employees. To become eligible, employees needed to simply get vaccinated and log their vaccine status in our A to Z app.
Our ongoing commitmentto the health and safety of our employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been our top priority. In partnership with government and public health officials, we continue to adapt and improve our COVID-19 vaccination program for Amazon front-line employees across the U.S.