The hotel industry hopes to be part of the solution in ramping up vaccinations in the U.S. getty
A leading U.S. hospitality industry group has asked the Biden-Harris transition team to consider using hotels as vaccine administration sites in partnership with local and state public health departments.
“America’s hotels stand ready to work alongside America’s governors as states continue to move forward in administrating the Covid-19 vaccine,” begins a letter sent by Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), to the Biden-Harris transition team. “By quickly mobilizing an existing network of sites, hotels can help strengthen the delivery and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine in communities across the country to better streamline and build on current state efforts.”
The group argues that it makes perfectsense for hotels to do double duty as vaccination centers in the coming months. For starters, hotels have tremendous geographical spread, with more than 50,000 hotels in every state, including properties located in cities, suburbs, and rural communities.
Another plus: Hotels often have large spaces — private rooms, meeting rooms, conference and ballrooms — that make social distancing feasible, and their typical 24-hour operations would allow for round-the-clock vaccination administration.
Since many hotels are currently running at less than 50% occupancy rates, anyone who might be traveling to receive the vaccine will have access to comfortable and flexible lodging options should they need them. In addition, hotels have put in sanitation and cleanliness protocols in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, and have refrigeration capabilities to store vaccines.