Uber will offer free rides to Walgreens to expand Covid vaccine access in underserved communities

A person waits for pharmacist Joe Borge in Danvers, MA on Feb. 1, 2021. On the first day of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 rollout, seniors, 75 and over, get vaccinated within the Walgreens Pharmacy, at 107 High Avenue, in Danvers.

Pat Greenhouse | Boston Globe | Getty Pictures

Walgreens and Uber are teaming up to produce it more uncomplicated for of us who fabricate no longer personal a automobile or a nearby pharmacy to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

The companies announced Tuesday that Uber will provide free rides to Walgreens stores and clinics for of us who book an appointment and are residing in underserved communities. Uber will work with charitable partners, such because the National City League, to name contributors who need the rides.

The pilot program will delivery up in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and El Paso, Texas. A Walgreens spokeswoman said free rides will be equipped as early as subsequent week in Atlanta after which magnify to the different cities.

The partnership is allotment of a pledge Uber made in December to present 10 million free or discounted rides to produce certain transportation doesn’t forestall contributors from getting the Covid vaccine.

Walgreens, the nation’s second-most fascinating pharmacy chain, will take on an expanded role within the vaccine rollout later this week. Walgreens will give vaccines to precedence groups — a lot like older People or those with preexisting conditions — starting Friday at some stores in 15 states and two cities, Chicago and Serene York.

The Biden administration announced plans final week to delivery up sending relate shipments of doses to about 6,500 retail stores nationwide. It plans to sooner or later magnify that program to 40,000 pharmacies.

The vaccine rollout has been slowed by limited present. It has also reflected broader health-care inequities. The majority of the nearly 13 million contributors given on the very least one dose of vaccine contained within the first month of distribution were older, White and female, in step with a gaze by the Facilities for Illness Preserve watch over and Prevention. Many vaccine web sites personal relied on on-line methods, which is able to be sophisticated to navigate for older People or out of reach for of us who fabricate no longer personal a cell phone or sufficient data superhighway entry.

Covid has had a disproportionate toll on Gloomy and Hispanic People. Gloomy People personal died from Covid at 1.5 cases the charge of White contributors, in step with data compiled by the COVID Tracking Venture.

Walgreens and Uber said they also thought to work collectively in numerous routes. Uber said it’ll add in-app aspects that produce it more uncomplicated for Uber drivers, provide contributors and freight workers to book a vaccine appointment when they’re more broadly accessible. The companies are developing a tutorial program with the National City League to decrease vaccine hesitancy.