Ride-sharing companies Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ:LYFT) are lobbying for their involvement in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout by offering to help more Americans receive the vaccines as they seek early doses for their drivers. Getting people to the vaccination points is a priority, and now the companies want to play a role.
Uber and Lyft to transport Americans to vaccination centers
In December, officials from Lyft met President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and made the case for the Biden administration to commit federal money for vaccine-related transportation. This is according to Lyft health-care business head Megan Callahan. The Lyft executive shared public data analysis with the transition team on the several at-risk Americans that can’t access healthcare transportation or have limited public transport because of COVID-19.
Equally, Uber said that it partnered with Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) to offer users vaccine-safety information through their ride-sharing app. The companies have indicates that they are working with public health agencies to help eligible Americans for doses to schedule rides and also get reminder notifications.
Scheduling vaccination appointment rides key to mass vaccination
University of Colorado’s School of Medicine’s Emergency medicine professor, Richard Zane said that they don’t want to leave anyone behind in the vaccination process. Zane has been helping in the rollout of vaccinations across the state from mass vaccination, clinics, and drive through centers. His facility is engaging Lyft regarding the possibility of offering rides to patients. He explained that several Americans are struggling with transportation including low-income families and seniors. Zane added that there is a need to do the best for the country to have mass vaccination.
Lyft plans to execute over 60 million rides, which will be adequate to cover all the 15 million people it approximates facing barriers to transportation for their vaccination appointments. Even before the pandemic, the issue of unequal and unreliable transportation access was there but the pandemic worsened the situation. With the pandemic affecting the ride-hailing business, transporting people to vaccination centers could boost Lyft and Uber’s business in the short-term.