The Kroger Co. is working with rideshare company Lyft to help customers get to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments at its pharmacies.
Under a partnership between Kroger Health, the grocer’s health services arm, and Lyft Healthcare, Inc., Lyft’s health care subsidiary, shoppers can receive discounted, roundtrip transportation for their full round of COVID shots, Kroger said Thursday.
The free rides work as follows: Customers go online to kroger.com/covidvaccine to schedule a vaccination at a nearby Kroger Co. pharmacy or The Little Clinic location, and they will get a Lyft ride code with the appointment confirmation. The code will cover $12 per ride for travel to and from each appointment. Patients then schedule their ride using the free Lyft mobile app.
“With only around 50% of the country fully vaccinated, our partnership with Lyft creates greater accessibility to the vaccine and helps remove transportation barriers. With the new Delta variant on the rise, it’s more important than ever that we push forward with our goals to achieve herd immunity and improve vaccine equity,” Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz said in a statement. “Our Kroger Health practitioners have administered more than 6 million doses so far, and we’re committed to doing even more to help people live healthier lives and protect the communities we serve.”
Kroger said its partnership with Lyft will provide access to discounted rides in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.
“Making sure people can get to their vaccine appointment is critical to beating COVID-19, and we’re proud to partner with Kroger Health to help people across the country access reliable transportation,” stated Megan Callahan, president of Lyft Healthcare. “Addressing the problem of transportation insecurity is our top priority, and this partnership only strengthens our ability to support equitable vaccine access in communities that need it most.”
The partnership is part of Lyft’s Vaccine Access Program. Lyft Healthcare is one of the country’s largest providers of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services, providing ride access to millions of patients who lack transportation. Its thousands of health care partners include nine of the top 10 NEMT managers, nine of the top 10 health systems, the top 10 health plans, large retail pharmacy chains and health care IT organizations, according to Lyft.
Through the early morning of Aug. 5, 58.2% of the U.S. population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 49.9% had been fully vaccinated, with 349 million vaccines administered of the 403 million delivered by manufacturers, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 70.4% of Americans ages 18 and older had gotten at least one shot (60.8% fully vaccinated), while 68.1% of those ages 12 and older have received at least one dose (58.4% fully vaccinated).