Uber and Walgreens have joined forces to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines for people who don't have a car or a nearby pharmacy.
The partnership is designed to help drive equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines among underserved communities. As part of the initiative, Uber will provide free rides to Walgreens stores and offsite vaccine clinics. The pilot programs will kick off in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and El Paso.
The partnership is part of commitment Uber made in December to offer 10 million free or discounted rides to make sure that lack of transportation doesn’t prevent people from getting the COVID vaccine.
“Transportation should never be a barrier to health care,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO. “We look forward to building on this exciting new partnership with Walgreens, harnessing the power of the Uber platform to help connect more people with vaccines, as we all work together to help end this pandemic.”
Once a person has a confirmed vaccine appointment at Walgreens or an offsite clinic run by the company, he or she will receive an email with an offer to schedule a free ride via Uber. While nearly 80% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Walgreens pharmacy, the company has recently expanded different models of care to ensure the delivery of vaccines in underserved and rural areas, such as mobile and off-site clinics. Additionally, more than 70% of Walgreens COVID testing sites are in socially vulnerable areas.
“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 John Standley, president, Walgreens.