A Public- Private Partnership for the Cure

We learned this week that we have three different vaccines for the COVID virus in the US.  We also learned that we are supposed to be able to get a vaccine by May.  We have the product and the manufacturing but we still don’t have the infrastructure and delivery process developed.  There seems to be a lot of confusion on where to get a shot, whether someone is eligible to receive a shot and how to make an appointment.  There are not a lot of aggregated solutions that pool resources for inoculation.  There are plenty of stories out there where people endlessly search different sites and refresh until an appointment comes up.  I think that there is a public- private partnership opportunity that resolves a lot of the inefficiencies.  

I propose that the state of Georgia partner with Chick Fil A franchise locations in order to vaccinate the state.  The partnership can leverage the drive thru service and the time spent in the queue as a way to vaccinate thousands.  It could also utilize the curbside pick up area where customers await their online orders.  Healthcare professionals would work in teams to get the customers a shot while they sit in their car.  This partnership would seek to eliminate complicated tiers of eligible citizens, lack of information on where to go and provide an incentive for people to go get their shot (and the second). 

Customers would receive a gift card for something nominal like a free sandwich, redeemable for the second visit.  The gift card would have a special marker that Chick Fil A and the State of Georgia builds a social media marketing campaign around.  Customers would then be encouraged to share over social media and engage with that online campaign.  The customers would post their gift card signifying completion of their first shot and share the knowledge of vaccine availability.  They would also be able to show pride in their participation in the program similar to a “I voted” sticker.  

Upon arriving for the second round of shots, customers can get their free sandwich along with the rest of their meal.  They also get their second shot, completing their medical process.  Customers would then receive a second, uniquely branded gift card that is redeemable at any point in time.  Again, customers post on social media with their second gift card further expanding the marketing. 

Execution of the process could be sped up by utilizing the Chick Fil A app.  Chick Fil A would update the app to be utilized for selecting vaccination options.  Customers would need to agree to some data sharing and add any additional basic information.  The Chick Fil A app already has a fair amount of identifying information for transaction completion and identifying your vehicle.  Customers seeking to use the vaccination opportunity could fill out any needed information before getting in their car.  Also, customers would select which round of the shot they’re taking through the app when placing their order.  The partnership could also control traffic flow by sending cascading notifications to customers with an account on the app.  The company likely could even direct customers to specific locations, given the GPS capabilities of the app.

This is a win for Chick Fil A, citizens and the State of Georgia.  Chick Fil A will gain new customers and new app users that will hopefully be profitable in the future.  Chick Fil A also gains by having packed stores across the state for the entirety of their open hours instead of only peak times.  Also, many customers will purchase a meal in addition to getting their shot.  Customers win through this proposal by cutting through regulations and red tape.  Citizens order their shot when they go to lunch instead of scrolling through internet searches for appointments.  The State wins because the partnership provides marketing for the vaccine program and an existing distribution infrastructure.  This program allows local communities to know where they can go for a shot and how to order it.  

According to the site scrapehero.com, there are 247 Chick Fil A locations in the state of Georgia.  If a store was utilizing only the drive thru and able to move cars through the line in 10 minutes, they could vaccinate 540 cars in a week.  If a store could get a car through the drive thru in 5 minutes, they vaccinate 1080 cars in a week.  Utilizing this method across 247 stores would yield 133,380 – 266,760 cars per week.  The capacity expands when leveraging curbside pickup.  Only using 6 Curbside spots at a store where a car turns over every 10 minutes, would vaccinate 3240 cars in a week.  When all 247 stores are providing this curbside pickup service, 800,000 cars could be vaccinated in a week.  These would all be high targets to obtain and the timing needed may be higher than 10 minutes but this is a high volume of shots going into arms.  Other assumptions in the numbers include vaccination service 15 hours per day and of course 6 days in the week.  Also, I say you can vaccinate cars because there will be opportunities to vaccinate multiple people from a household on a trip.  

Chick Fil A and the State of Georgia would eliminate some of the biggest issues that exist in the vaccination program in this partnership. The existing infrastructure makes sure that we don’t have to spend a large amount of taxpayer funds on new sites. The partnership cuts through complicated rollout structures and hierarchies. This partnership once again champions Chick Fil A as a steward of their community and provides them with immeasurable goodwill. Citizens would know where to go to get a shot and that they will be rewarded for doing so. The partnership will get the word out by leveraging social media and proud, newly vaccinated customers. This is not perfect but it is a win, win, win.