Washington — The Biden administration announced a new partnership Tuesday with Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to anyone going to a COVID-19 vaccination site to get their shots.
The announcement comes as the rate of daily vaccinations has slowed, and the president and his team are trying to reach populations that might not have easy access to the vaccine. The free rides also come as the Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Pfizer vaccine, nearly all of whom too young to drive alone.
President Biden is meeting virtually with a bipartisan group of governors Tuesday afternoon to discuss state and federal efforts to get Americans vaccinated.
The ride-sharing program will launch within the next two weeks, and last until July 4. The president has made July 4 his target for 70% of the U.S. population getting at least one shot. The White House estimates that 90% of Americans live within five miles of a vaccination site, although some rural areas in particular do not have access to Uber and Lyft.
“Vaccines are our best hope to beat this pandemic and soon everyone in America will be able to take a free Uber to get their shot,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “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.”
It’s unclear exactly how much the initiative would cost. Uber previously committed to providing 10 million free rides to vaccine sites. More than 115 million Americans are fully vaccinated, and nearly 153 million have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The White House also announced Tuesday that the administration will be partnering with large community colleges to work to vaccinate students and staff.