White House taps Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccine appointments

The White House announced a new initiative aimed at getting more people in the US vaccinated. Under this new effort, the Biden administration has teamed with Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination appointments. The initiative is part of a wider round of new measures intended to get 70-percent of US adults vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4.

Under the new program, any adult in the US can get a free ride to their local vaccination site using Uber or Lyft. Both ride-sharing companies will promote the new opportunity in their respective apps, enabling users to select a nearby vaccination site and redeem a free trip to the destination.

The companies will begin offering these free rides under the program within the next two weeks, according to the White House, and they'll remain available through July 4. The idea is that many people may have limited transportation options, and by giving them a free ride, more people may elect to get vaccinated who otherwise would have waited longer.

In addition to the free rides, the Biden administration is also announcing new partnerships between pharmacies and community colleges that have high enrollment numbers that will result in on-site vaccination clinics. The local community, as well as students and staff, will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the colleges.

Beyond that, FEMA assistance funding is now available to local, state, and tribal governments for the purposes of community outreach and 'engagement' related to the vaccination effort. These efforts can include things like phone and text initiatives that alert communities when vaccines are available, helping businesses get their employees vaccinated with things like pop-up clinics, and more.