Uber is diversifying again. In the US, it's now possible to make a covid-19 vaccine appointment directly in the Uber application. As it looks to getting its comeback underway, the American firm is helping encourage its users to go get their covid-19 jab as soon as possible.
After UberEats, could the firm be set to launch "UberVax"? As access to vaccination widens in the US, retailers are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. To help speed things up, the American firm, known for its ride-hailing service, is now letting users in the US book covid-19 vaccines as part of freshly unveiled " go anywhere, get anything " services: "We know that by making it easier to get to and from their appointments, more people will get vaccinated," explains Uber.
The initiative follows the firm's December 2020 commitment to offering 10 million free or discounted rides to people with limited access to transportation, as a way of allowing them to get to and from vaccination appointments. At the time, Uber announced a partnership with the Walgreens pharmacy chain to make access to vaccination more accessible to the most disadvantaged people. Now, users will be able to book their appointment at the same time as their transport via the application. According to The Verge, 9,000 Walgreens pharmacies nationwide are taking part in the initiative.
Ultimately, it's a logical course of action for the American firm, which has seen its economic activity heavily impacted by the pandemic. With lockdowns, restrictions and stores and services closed around the country, people in the US often stayed at home. In fact, Uber announced a 16% drop in monthly active consumers on its platform in the last quarter of 2020.
And this isn't Uber's first effort to help with the public health crisis. The firm joined forces with PayPal and Walgreens to launch a Vaccine Access Fund to cover the transportation costs of disadvantaged people who need to get to or from vaccination appointments.