Customers in the United States may now schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments using the Uber app at any nearby Walgreens pharmacy, highlighting the importance of the vaccine to the ride-hailing business.
Uber users may check availability and registrations by opening the Uber app and entering their zip code. Users may verify whether vaccination slots are available and schedule their first and second doses after selecting a Walgreens outlet, and then arrange their transport with Uber to and from their scheduled appointment.
The project builds on an existing partnership between the country’s largest ride-hailing service and second-largest drugstore chain. Uber and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. started providing free and subsidized rides to Walgreens vaccination clinics, with the goal of vaccinating key front liners and speeding up distribution. Over the course of March, Uber launched a similar service in Puerto Rico for select drivers.
Over the previous year, the pandemic has devastated ride demand. These figures have begun to improve in recent weeks starting April 2021 as vaccination rates have risen and regular daily activities have resumed. According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, more than a billion vaccine doses have been delivered globally, with over 230 million of them provided in the United States.
In addition to the partnership between Uber and Walgreens, Uber has pledged to provide 10 million worth of discounted or free rides to underprivileged and underserved communities of color in order to help them receive the vaccine, as the company believes that public transport should not be a hindrance to receiving a vaccination. Aside from the $11 million USD commitment from Uber, Walgreens, and PayPal, the two entities have also started a Vaccine Access Fund alongside PayPal, Walgreens, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation enabling consumers to give free rides using the Uber app.
Uber then declined to specify when vaccines will be available outside of the United States. Sundeep Jain, Uber’s chief product officer, admitted that major outbreaks are occurring within Brazil, India, and other countries where they operate.