Why Big Tech has had a small role in COVID-19 vaccine rollout: 4 takeaways

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The U.S. is attempting the biggest vaccine rollout in its history, which is proving to be logistically challenging. Big Tech is not having the impact that may be expected for four reasons, according to a Feb. 27 NBC article.

Many Big Tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have attempted to become a leader in the vaccine rollout. However, it has proven difficult for Big Tech to create digital infrastructure. 

Four things to know:

1. Logistics may be too challenging
In Iowa, Microsoft was contracted to set up the state's vaccine appointment booking system. After one week, the contract was canceled because the process for Microsoft to build new infrastructure would take too long.

2. High costs 
Lake County, Ill., paid $5.5 million from October 2020 through the end of 2020 for a vaccine website. Other counties have reported paying similar prices to implement vaccine booking systems.

3. Involvement alternatives
Big Tech companies like Uber and Lyft are getting involved by offering rides to those on their way to vaccination appointments. Google and Verizon are paying for advertisements that promote vaccine awareness.

4. Non-internet solutions
State officials are thinking about ways to roll out vaccines for those who do not have internet access, including many older adults who are vaccine-eligible.

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