Karoly Arvai/Reuters

In 15 U.S. cities, users can get vaccines (and a subtle lobbying effort) delivered on demand.

If you’ve been putting off getting a flu shot this year, today’s your chance to fire up the Uber app and have one delivered to your door for free.

The ride-hailing company is partnering with Passport Health to deliver vaccines on demand between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday in 15 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Boston, D.C., Houston, and Birmingham. Users in those cities will see a “Health” option in the app that summons registered nurses, complete with care packages and vaccines for up to five people.

Why is Uber doing this? Much like its partnerships with hospitals to help people get to doctors appointments, the obvious benefit is public health. “Every person who receives a flu shot reduces the risk of others getting the flu by 50-60 percent,” the company said in a statement. “We can all fight this thing together.”

Of course, it makes for great PR, too, by encouraging more people to download the app and consider using it for rides in the future. There’s a little more going on in cities like Syracuse and Albany, though, where users can get free flu shots today even though they can’t catch a ride. Under state law, ride-hailing apps can’t legally operate in upstate New York. Uber and Lyft lobbied lawmakers heavily—and unsuccessfully—to change that this year, and they’ve doled out plenty of free stuff to residents along the way.

"While Albany dysfunction prevents Upstate New Yorkers from having access to affordable and reliable transportation options, it doesn't have to limit their access to flu season essentials at the touch of a button," Uber NY’s general manager, Josh Mohrer, told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  2. Maps

    The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

    For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets of Los Angeles. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

  3. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  4. Equity

    The New Servant Class

    “Wealth work” is one of America’s fastest growing industries. That’s not entirely a good thing.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×