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Uber donates 5,000 rides to Austin COVID-19 vaccine sites

The rides from Uber will become a useful tool as vaccination appointments are transitioned away from mass vaccination sites to local providers like H-E-B, CVS, etc.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above is a report about a separate partnership Uber has with Walgreens to help patients get rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Uber and Notley Impact announced a partnership Monday to provide 5,000 rides for Austinites to vaccine sites throughout the city.

According to the company, the Uber credits can be used for a free roundtrip ride to and from vaccine sites located in the area. Residents who need transportation assistance to these vaccine sites will be able to access free rides through Notley Impact. 

“Uber’s ride donation will fill a critical gap and will help ensure that all residents of Austin have access to a vaccine,” said Dan Graham, founder of Notley Impact. “We know that neighborhoods where residents lack access to transportation have also experienced higher rates of severe illness and death from COVID-19. I’m proud that this program will truly serve the Austin communities most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

The rides from Uber will become a useful tool as vaccination appointments are transitioned away from mass vaccination sites to local providers such as H-E-B, CVS, Walgreens and local clinics. 

KVUE reported over the weekend that many local providers are saying those mass vaccination sites could soon become a thing of the past. 

"The supply is caught up with the demand and we're ahead of the curve for once in the middle of a global pandemic," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell told KVUE. "Once those hub locations step down, we will be pushing the vaccine back into the local clinics, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and My H-E-B ... and they'll be vaccinating in the local stores. I believe now by Memorial Day ... the end of May ... that we will have vaccinated every adult in the county that wants to receive a vaccine."

So far, more than 50% of people 16 or older in both Williamson and Travis counties have at least one dose of a vaccine.  

RELATED: COVID-19 mass vaccination sites could soon be a thing of the past

“We are proud to partner with Notley Impact to support the City of Austin’s efforts to significantly boost access to COVID-19 vaccines for vaccinations and transportation to and from appointments,” said Trevor Theunissen, director of public affairs at Uber. “Throughout this pandemic, we’ve maintained operations to provide essential services to the residents of Austin and have taken multiple steps to ensure that safety is at the forefront of everything we’ve done. This is just the latest effort in our ongoing commitment to provide communities we serve with support they need during this unprecedented time.”

Eligible residents can receive free rides to vaccine sites by emailing Notley Impact here.

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