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Uber, Lyft to begin offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden is expected to announce Tuesday that Uber and Lyft will begin offering free rides to anyone going to a vaccination site to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The new program is one of the actions the Biden administration is taking to meet its goal of getting 70% of U.S. adults to have at least one vaccine shot by July 4.

The White House said in a statement that Uber and Lyft will promote rides to and from tens of thousands of vaccination sites through their apps.

People will be able to select a vaccination site near them, follow directions to redeem their ride, and then get a ride to take them to and from a nearby vaccination site free of charge, according to the administration.

Officials say the free rides will be offered from May 24 to July 4.

“By helping Americans get a free ride to a vaccination site, Lyft and Uber are eliminating a potential barrier and driving America closer to the President’s goal of getting 70% of the U.S. adult population with at least one shot by July 4th,” wrote the White House in a statement.

In addition to the ride-sharing program, Biden is set to announce Tuesday that some of the nation’s largest community colleges will host vaccination sites for students, staff and local communities throughout May and June.

The administration will launch partnerships between federal retail pharmacy partners and high-enrollment community colleges to provide on-site clinics for students, staff, and local communities.

“These community colleges will work to get word out to students, staff, and local communities to make use of these clinics, especially for students who are on or nearby campus this summer,” wrote the White House.

Biden is also set to announce funding immediately available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for states to fund more on-the-ground efforts to promote vaccinations in their communities, including phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, and pop-up vaccination sites in workplaces and churches.

As of Tuesday morning, about 58.2% of U.S. adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 44.3% of people in that group are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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