Uber and Walgreens Team Up for Free Rides to COVID-19 Vaccinations
A new educational program also aims to address vaccine hesitancy.
Walgreens and Uber have this week teamed up to help improve access to COVID-19 immunization among underserved people through educational programs, technology solutions, and free transportation to clinics.
"By combining Walgreens' deep experience in community care with Uber's transportation technology and logistics expertise, we will take bold action to address vaccine access and hesitancy among those hit hardest by the pandemic," Walgreens president John Standley said in a statement.
Several initiatives are rolling out over the coming months, including free Uber rides to Walgreens stores and offsite vaccine clinics—part of Uber's larger commitment to provide up to 10 million complimentary or discounted lifts to get the jab. Pilot programs will begin in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and El Paso, Texas.
"Transportation should never be a barrier to health care," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, promising to harness the firm's power "to help connect more people with vaccines, as we all work together to help end this pandemic."
Customers also get one-click access to pre-schedule rides once a Walgreens vaccination appointment is confirmed, and Uber is making it easier for employees across its platforms to find out when injections become available.
It's not always as easy as just hopping into a taxi and visiting a drive-thru clinic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people from racial and ethnic minority groups may hesitate to get inoculated, based on a long history of unjust government and healthcare treatment. With that in mind, Walgreens and Uber developed a new educational program with the National Urban League to address folks' doubts about COVID-19 immunization.