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Uber, Walgreens, PayPal to cover COVID-19 vaccine rides for needy in U.S.

By
Don Johnson
The companies said people can donate to the fund directly through the Uber or Uber Eats apps. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
The companies said people can donate to the fund directly through the Uber or Uber Eats apps. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

April 12 (UPI) -- Walgreens is partnering with Uber and PayPal in an effort to give needy people rides to pharmacies so they can be vaccinated against COVID-19, the companies said Monday.

The companies announced a Vaccine Access Fund that covers the cost for rides to vaccination sites for people who may not be able to afford them.

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The companies said people can donate to the fund directly through the Uber or Uber Eats apps using a new donate feature supported by PayPal Giving Fund. Donations can also be made through PayPal's website.

The three companies announced they're making an $11 million joint donation.

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Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a community development organization, will receive money from the donations and help local nonprofits set up free rides to vaccination sites. Any money left over will be used to help people in underserved communities get to other medical appointments, the companies said.

"We're continuing to broaden access across our retail locations," Walgreens President John Standley said in a statement Monday. "We're also driving equitable access to vaccines within underserved communities, to help the nation emerge from this pandemic."

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"Walgreens is working in collaboration with partners on the ground to accelerate equitable access and to remove transportation barriers for individuals hardest hit by the pandemic," the pharmacy chain added.

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PayPal previously donated $5 million to cover the costs of Uber rides to vaccination sites. Earlier this year, Uber and Walgreens offered people in low-income areas free rides to a pharmacy or clinic to get vaccinated. Uber said in December it would provide up to 10 million free or discounted rides to transport people to vaccination sites.

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National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
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