White House says all Americans can get free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites through Uber, Lyft
President Joe Biden is set to announce additional initiatives to get America vaccinated in hopes of meeting his goal for 70% of U.S. adults to have at least one vaccine shot by the Fourth of July.
The White House said Tuesday new initiatives include free rides to vaccination sites from Lyft and Uber, vaccination clinics at community colleges and additional resources for states.
The free ride program will launch in the next two weeks and run until July 4.
The White House said people will be able to select a vaccination site near them on either the Uber or Lyft app, and then follow simple directions to redeem their free ride.
Community colleges nationwide are also set to begin hosting vaccine sites. Community colleges with high enrollment will partner with pharmacies to provide on-site clinics for students, staff and those in the area.
The White House said funding will also be immediately available to territorial, Tribal and local governments for community outreach and engagement to connect people to vaccinations.
Both Uber and Lyft are already offering some form of free ride program to vaccination sites.
Uber, for example, partnered with Walgreens earlier this year to offer free rides after pledging in December it would provide 10 million free or discounted rides. Lyft announced a similar initiative to offer 60 million.
Uber is also offering sign-up bonuses and other incentives for drivers as it faces record demand for rides and meal delivery.
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As of May 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reported 58% of adults have had at least one vaccination shot. About 44% of adults are fully vaccinated.
Biden announced last week a new target of 70% of American adults receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 160 million fully vaccinated, by the summer holiday.
The Biden administration now faces a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign as it works to reach those who are still holding back. Demand has sagged in some parts of the country, resulting in the White House taking steps to make it easier to get the shot.
Last week, Biden called on states and federal pharmacy partners to make the vaccine available on a walk-in basis. The government also launched the vaccines.gov website, as well as a text back program to find a nearby appointment.
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Some companies have launched initiatives to encourage the vaccine as well. Some employers are rewarding workers who get inoculated, while Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut to anyone who presents a valid vaccination card for the rest of 2021.
The Atlanta Braves vaccinated fans who attended the May 7 and 8 games against the Philadelphia Phillies. Target is offering a $5 coupon to customers who get vaccinated at its in-store CVS pharmacy locations.
McDonald’s is also rolling out new coffee cups that encourage the vaccine in partnership with the White House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report