The latest development from Walgreens’ and Uber’s partnership is making it easier for people to schedule a vaccination appointment and get a ride to it. Uber on Thursday unveiled a new feature that allows patients to book vaccination appointments at Walgreens in the Uber app, then schedule their Uber ride to the appointment.
“As COVID-19 vaccine inventories expand, so has our shared commitment with Uber to providing innovations that help accelerate access to the vaccine for communities across America,” said John Standley, president of Walgreens.
The companies said that as all adults in the United States now are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, they are focused on ensuring that transportation is not a barrier to getting inoculated.
Starting Thursday, Uber users now see a “Vaccine” option in the app that allows them to book an appointment at a Walgreens location. Once they enter their zip code and choose an available appointment, they can set up a pickup time and location for their ride to the appointment. The app also will send a push notification about the upcoming ride and appointment.
“We’re committed to helping ensure that transportation is not a barrier to getting vaccinated. We know that by making it easier to get to an appointment, more people will get vaccinated,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “By partnering with Walgreens, our goal is to make getting that shot as easy as booking a ride with Uber.”
Beyond the new app features, Walgreens and Uber continue to focus on getting underserved communities access to COVID-19 vaccines. They recently held vaccination clinics in Atlanta, El Paso, Chicago, Houston and Milwaukee, with plans to do more in communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Uber facilitated free transportation to the clincs and has committed to 10 million free or discounted rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments to underserved populations around the world.
The two companies also have created the Vaccine Access Fund, working with PayPal. The companies have contributed $11 million and are encouraging customers to donate, with the goal of helping ensure transportation is not a barrier to getting a COVID-19 vaccine.