Uber partners with Walgreens to help N.J. drivers get COVID-19 vaccines

The Uber app for drivers helps them schedule their vaccine appointments.

Uber announced on Tuesday that the company has teamed up with Walgreens to help all eligible Uber drivers across New Jersey book a vaccine appointment at their nearest Walgreens location.

A public relations representative for the company said the hope is that the app will help streamline the COVID-19 vaccination appointment process for drivers. The interface is part of an Uber and Walgreens program aimed at helping accelerate COVID-19 access for people in underserved communities.

Asked by Planet Princeton approximately how many drivers the company currently has in New Jersey, the public relations representative did not respond.

In New Jersey, app-based drivers are recognized as essential workers, but the vaccine appointment process can be confusing if people do not know when they are eligible, how to schedule an appointment, or how to show that they meet eligibility criteria. The app gives drivers and delivery people an easy way to book appointments and show proof of driver status. Within Uber’s driver app, drivers and delivery people will be able to book a vaccine appointment with Walgreens using a unique authorization code.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic drivers have been essential — getting medical staff to their jobs, delivering food, and helping get their cities moving again,” said Carrol Chang, head of driver operations for Uber in the United States and Canada. “We are pleased that New Jersey has recognized this and given them priority access to the vaccine, and now through our partnership with Walgreens, it will be easier for them to book a vaccination appointment.”

According to Uber, the company has donated 10 million free or discounted rides globally to people traveling to COVID vaccination appointments. The company is partnering with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine, and the National Action Network in an effort to ensure that people have access to reliable transportation options in order to get their vaccines.