On the February 9, Walgreens and Uber Technologies, Inc, a global leader in ridesharing and on-demand delivery technology, announced that they have entered into an agreement to help drive equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines among underserved communities.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to many interrelated factors that hinder vaccine access for communities of color, including vaccine hesitancy and lack of access to transportation. Walgreens and Uber are addressing these barriers through the development of educational programs with community leaders and organizations, technology solutions that make it easier to connect people with vaccine appointments, and free transportation to Walgreens vaccine clinics among socially vulnerable communities,” – Walgreens said.
Walgreens and Uber Initiatives
Walgreens and Uber will roll out several initiatives over the coming months as vaccines become available for mass distribution including:
- Free transportation to Walgreens stores and offsite vaccine clinics as part of a larger commitment by Uber to provide up to 10 million free or discounted rides to vaccinations. Pilot transportation programs will begin in cities including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and El Paso.
- One-click access to pre-schedule rides on Uber when a Walgreens vaccination appointment is made. After appointments are confirmed, patients will receive also an email extending the offer to schedule a ride.
- New in-app features designed to more seamlessly connect people, including active drivers, delivery people, and freight carriers using Uber, Uber Eats or Uber Freight, with vaccines when become more readily available.
- New educational program with the National Urban League to address vaccine hesitancy.
“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.
“Transportation should never be a barrier to health care. 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,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
The Additional Deals
In December, Uber committed up to 10 million free or discounted rides to help ensure transportation is not a barrier to getting a vaccine. Targeting communities the hardest hit by the pandemic, Uber partnered with the National Urban League, National Action Network, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Uber will continue to build a broad coalition of organizations committed to breaking down transportation barriers in these communities.
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.
“Chicago Urban League is encouraged by Walgreens and Uber’s efforts to partner with organizations like ours that work tirelessly in the fight for equity and equality. We look forward to collaborating with them to help ensure vaccines reach into communities of color more equitably,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, president & CEO, Chicago Urban League.