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Uber, Lyft will offer free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites

It's part of the Biden administration's push to get 70% of the US adult population to have at least one shot by July 4.

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Ride-sharing companies are about to start helping America get vaccinated.

Sarah Tew/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Lyft and Uber will bring you to a COVID-19 vaccination site for free until July 4, as part of President Joe Biden's effort to get shots in the arms of 70% of the US adult population by the holiday, the White House said. Biden will detail the program on a call with governors on Tuesday, as previously reported by The Wall Street Journal. 

The ride-sharing companies will promote the free rides through their apps. You'll be able to pick a nearby vaccination site, follow directions to redeem your ride, and then get a ride to take you to and from the site. The feature will launch in the next two weeks, according to the White House.

The partnership with the White House builds on previous efforts by Uber to help people get rides to COVID-19 vaccinations sites. In December, the ride-hailing company said it would give 10 million free or discounted rides to people looking to get a COVID vaccine, and in April, Uber added an in-app feature that lets people donate to a fund aimed at helping people get to vaccine appointments. 

"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," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement on Tuesday. We are honored to deepen our previous global commitments, and partner with the White House and Lyft to provide free rides to vaccination sites across the US."

In a blog post, Lyft offered some details on how getting a free ride will work in its app. By May 24, people will be able to get code via the Lyft app or website for rides to and from a vaccination site near them. Ride codes will cover $15 each way, said Lyft, noting that "based on previous rides given to vaccination sites, we expect to cover most, if not all, of riders' fares." Lyft codes can be used for its ride-share service as well bike or scooter rides. 

"The vaccine is the key to getting us all moving again, and we're proud to do our part to move the country forward," said Lyft CEO John Zimmer in a statement on Tuesday. "Helping more Americans get vaccinated helps the Lyft community of drivers and riders, and we're grateful to the Biden Administration for prioritizing access."

Biden earlier this month said his administration wanted to see 70% of US adults having at least one COVID-19 shot by July Fourth, and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by then. The pace of vaccinations has been slowing in the US, and Biden said the effort to get people vaccinated is moving into a new phase with a focus on children, convenience and hesitancy.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.