Vaccines may soon be checking in.
As the coronavirus vaccine effort continues its rollout, major private venues — including Disneyland in California and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta — are stepping up to help with the distribution. In a recent letter to the Biden administration, the president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) said that the country’s hotels are ready to help out as well.
In a letter obtained by Fox News, AHLA CEO Chip Rogers wrote to Jeffrey Zients, coordinator of the COVID-19 response team for President-elect Joe Biden, explaining that hotels are ready to help state governors across the country with the vaccine distribution.
“Hotels have existing infrastructure and operational capabilities to serve as vaccine administration sites and capacity to assist,” wrote Rogers. He continued to explain that “the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) under its ‘Hospitality for Hope’ initiative has the infrastructure in place to support public health agencies and private sector partners through a network of more than 20,000 hotels” that could be quickly set up to serve as locations to administer the vaccine.
Hotels have the geographic reach to support “wide distribution” of the vaccine, according to Rogers, as well as private rooms and the ability to operate on a 24/7 schedule.
Most hotels already have comprehensive cleaning protocols and staff on hand to implement these functions. But one of the most important aspects needed for the vaccine rollout is temperature-controlled areas, since the current approved vaccines need to be stored at specific temperatures. Many hotels have large refrigeration units for food service, which is another benefit to using these existing sites for the rollout, the AHLA notes.
“As an industry, we have always stepped up to help our neighbors and communities in a time of need, including early-on in the pandemic through Hospitality for Hope,” Rogers concluded. “The industry looks forward to continuing this work in partnership with the public and private sector to support this next phase of recovery.”
The American Hotel and Lodging Association is a national organization that represents and advocates on behalf of major hotel chains including Marriot, Hilton and Wyndham Resorts, along with independent hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry.