SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco-based Uber announced on Friday that it will offer 10 million free or discounted rides to people who need to get to a COVID-19 vaccination site to get their shots.
The move marks the second time the ride-sharing giant has committed 10 million free or discounted rides to those in need.
At the start of the pandemic, Uber offered to provide the rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors and other people in need worldwide.
Uber is beginning the effort in partnership with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network, organizations with deep ties to communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We also know that communities of color have less reliable access to transportation, presenting another barrier to getting vaccinated. We’re looking forward to working with Uber to knock that barrier down,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network in a statement.
Uber said it will give the rides to both first and second vaccine appointments.
This news comes as Pfizer said in a statement that it has shipped 2.9 million doses of the vaccine that the federal government requested.
“We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses,” the company said in a statement. “We remain confident in our ability to deliver up to 50 million doses globally this year and up to 1.3 billion next year, and we look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. government to deliver our vaccine to the American people.”
Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League said the availability of a vaccine is no guarantee that it will reach the communities who are most desperately in need of it.
“It will require a historic effort on the part of government, private industry and community groups working all working in coordination. We commend Uber for taking the initiative in forming these crucial alliances and we are proud to move forward together in helping to heal the nation,” he said.
The United States has surpassed more than 17.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 309,000 Americans have died during the pandemic, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
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