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By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) - Salesforce.com on Wednesday said it has adapted some of its business software to help healthcare organizations and government entities distribute vaccines for the novel coronavirus once they become available.
The San Francisco-based company said the offering, called Work.com for Vaccines, will help cities, states and health-care groups track vaccine inventory levels, create online appointment portals and track how patients fare after being vaccinated.
"All these vaccines have various levels of quality and efficacy. We all know that they're not all the same," Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff told Reuters in an interview. "And so technology will be really critical in separating the wheat from the chaff in the vaccine."
Multiple companies and nations around the world are racing to develop a vaccine to provide some degree of immunity to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world's largest maker of vaccines, on Tuesday said she was optimistic the industry will be able to make vaccine widely available next year.
Salesforce.com's efforts build on tools rolled out in May aimed at modifying the company's business software to help governments make re-opening decisions based on public health data and carry out contact tracing and other tasks related to the pandemic.
In a press announcement, Salesforce said pricing will be "based upon the unique requirements of each public agency or private healthcare organization."
"We get the government the price they need," Benioff said. "We know a lot of people are under pressure, and we're going to do whatever we can to make sure that they get the technology at the right price that that's appropriate for them."
The timeline for a vaccine was a major focus of the U.S. presidential debate on Tuesday. Benioff said the company plans to work with "red states and blue states" and has previously worked with both California and Texas.
"Salesforce is not a Democrat or Republican. Salesforce is an American," he said.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler and Aurora Ellis)