Uber and Walgreens are partnering to ensure those who lack reliable transportation to a pharmacy can still access the coronavirus vaccine.
On Feb. 9, both companies released a joint statement explaining the arrangement. Patients are to make an appointment with either Walgreens or offsite vaccination facilities and, shortly after, will be prompted to schedule their free ride.
“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,” said Walgreens president John Stanley.
Uber will partner with various charitable organizations, such as the National Urban League, to find qualifying participants. This effort comes after the company pledged in December to offer 10 million rides to coronavirus vaccine appointments.
“We’re beginning this effort in partnership with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network, organizations with deep ties to the communities of color that have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic – with more partnerships to come soon,” said the company’s statement in December.
Chicago, Houston, El Paso, and Atlanta will pilot the program before its widespread rollout. Patients in Atlanta will have access to free rides as early as next week.
Uber and Walgreens have further plans for collaboration, such as in-app features allowing for Uber drivers, delivery people, and freight workers to book appointments more efficiently, and an education program with the National Urban League to reduce vaccine hesitancy among minority groups.
On Feb. 2, the Biden administration announced that it would increase their weekly doses sent to retail pharmacies by 5%.