Walgreens and Uber Technologies are joining together in a new partnership to give free rides to coronavirus vaccine appointments in underserved communities, the Illinois-based pharmacy chain announced Tuesday.
The new initiative will roll out over the coming months with pilot programs launching in several U.S. cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and El Paso.
Though no exact dates were given, the companies said they plan to offer free transportation to Walgreens stores and vaccine clinics.
Patients who make an appointment will receive an email "extending the offer to schedule a ride."
“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,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.
The new pilot programs aim to "make it easier to connect people with vaccine appointments" by offering "free transportation to Walgreens vaccine clinics among socially vulnerable communities," Walgreens said in a release.
“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,” John Standley, president of Walgreens, said in a statement.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment or to receive vaccine information for your area, click here.
The additional doses will be distributed under a new Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that the White House announced. Illinois and Chicago are two of the 15 jurisdictions in which Walgreens will offer these additional doses.
These thousands of additional doses are on top of the supply that Walgreens already receives through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Walgreens, based in suburban Deerfield, said only the Moderna vaccine will be used in this effort, one of two vaccines federally approved for use. Walgreens also noted that this new effort does not change any eligibility requirements or open doses up for those who do not yet qualify, saying vaccines will still be given only in accordance with state and local guidelines.