Mass. Residents Grateful for Free Rides to Vaccine Sites

Uber and Lyft will offer free rides to people getting the COVID-19 vaccine through July 4

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As Massachusetts looks to immunize as much of the population as possible, officials hope a free ride will lead to an increase in vaccinations.

Uber and Lyft will both be offering free rides to vaccination sites through July 4, the companies announced this week.

Brady Whitehall was happy to hear the news after walking two miles to her vaccine appointment at the Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday.

"I didn't mind walking because it's a beautiful day, but I think it's awesome. I think everybody needs to be doing things like that," Whitehall said.

Rodrigo Martinez, the chief marketing officer for CIC Health, which operates a lot of the sites, says now is the time to get creative to get people to roll their sleeves up.

"This is really the last push and I encourage everybody. This is on us all," Martinez said.

Martinez said he even though Massachusetts is one of only three states to reach 70% immunity, getting the last 30% immunized will be a challenge. Martinez said they are now focusing on walk-ins and pop-up clinics to get the job done.

"You're going to see us in gyms, parks, churches, schools, even outside on the basketball court," Martinez said.

In New York City, they will start administering the single-dose vaccine in subway stations this week. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said he would be on board with the MBTA implementing something similar here.

"I think that's fantastic. Think about it. What do our front-line workers use for transportation? It's the bus. It's the subway. We need more of those options," Curtatone said.

As of right now, the MBTA says there are no plans to set up clinics at stations.

In addition to free rides and more clinic locations, advocates are also pushing for extended hours at the vaccination sites at night and on the weekends.

"We all need to get creative about bringing people in," Martinez said.

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