Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Uber are collaborating to provide 2,000 promo codes for rides to Project Unity on Friday at Saint Luke "Community" United Methodist Church.
The promo codes and rides are intended to help those with transportation challenges. The nonprofit will administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who makes appointments through their website.
The St. Luke United Methodist Church site will be different than the city's drive-through vaccine hub at The Potter's House because it is a walk-up site, allowing the Uber drivers to pick up and drop off people without the need to wait in line.
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"We are finally nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of these vaccines," Johnson said. "But as the supply increases, it is more critical than ever that we work to overcome barriers to vaccination so that we can inoculate as many Dallas residents as possible against this terrible virus. And that effort is made possible by partners such as Uber and Project Unity, which have both stepped up to ensure our communities have equitable access to life-saving vaccines."
Starting this week, all Texans age 16 and above will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The registration and vaccination efforts for underserved communities were strong areas of focus for Pastor Riche Butler, the founder of Project Unity and senior pastor at St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church.
"Together We Vaccinate comes at a critical time when state and federal data show that minority groups are being vaccinated at far below the rates of mostly white, wealthy communities," Butler said.
Butler believes there needs to be a focus for those who cannot travel and need extra care.
"Neighborhood-based vaccination sites are needed to offer vaccinations to residents who are unable to travel to larger hubs, who need extra care and attention than can be provided at large drive-throughs, or who may wish to talk to a health care professional in person about their concerns - all of which Together We Vaccinate offers to prospective vaccine recipients."
Uber has previously partnered with the mayor's office to give out free meals to first responders and health care workers through their Uber Eats platform.
"We are proud to support the City of Dallas and Project Unity's efforts to significantly boost access to COVID-19 vaccines by providing transportation to and from vaccine appointments," said Chris Miller, Sr. Manager of Public Affairs at Uber. "Throughout this pandemic we've maintained operations to provide essential services to the people of Dallas and have taken multiple steps to help ensure that safety is at the heart 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."