| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Uber and Lyft set to provide free rides to US vaccine sites

Uber and Lyft will provide free rides to people travelling to or from Covid-19 vaccination sites in the US.

They will be available within the next two weeks through the taxi firms’ apps until 4 July as part of government efforts to increase vaccine take-up, the White House announced on Tuesday.

It comes as demand for jabs in the US has slowed in recent weeks. “Vaccines are our best hope to beat this pandemic,” Uber boss  Dara Khosrowshahi said.

Khosrowshahi added: “This is a proud moment for me, for Uber, and for our country. More and more Americans continue to get vaccinated every day – let’s keep moving forward, together.”

President Joe Biden has said he would like to see 70 percent of US adults receive at least one vaccine dose in time for 4 July Independence Day celebrations.

As of Monday, 46 percent of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new initiatives come at a time when US demand for vaccines has declined significantly, forcing the administration to figure out new ways to motivate people to get vaccinated.

A new feature will launch in about two weeks on both apps, which will allow customers to get a code they can use to get rides to and from a vaccination site after providing some details.

Uber and Lyft have previously announced free rides to vaccine clinics would be available to vulnerable communities lacking healthcare and transportation at increased risk of Covid-19.

But the new offer will be available to all US residents with a vaccine appointment.