Uber, Paypal, Walgreens launch $11M fund to get people to COVID-19 vaccination appointments

Uber, Paypal and Walgreens are teaming up to provide transportation for people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations with a new program.

The companies created and donated $11 million to what they’re calling the Vaccine Access Fund. The new program will specifically target nonprofits in local cities to help low-income people in need of transportation. The program is currently operating in Chicago and will expand to other cities soon.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national community development organization, will manage the fund and coordinate with nonprofits that will provide rides.

"We know that COVID-19 has hit our communities that are low income and they hit communities of color harder than they have the rest of us," LISC’s President and CEO Lisa Glover told FOX Television Stations Monday. "And those are communities who have the trouble gaining access to the vaccine as well and transportation is just one of a number of reasons why they can’t get that vaccine."

RELATED: ‘Shocking imbalance’: WHO says 87% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to wealthy countries

People can also donate to the fund either through the PayPayl website or the Uber and Uber Eats apps.

People can also donate to the fund (https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/givingfund/joinppgf) either through the PayPayl website or the Uber and Uber Eats apps.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 73 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, representing 21.9% of the country’s total population.

The White House has called on corporations to help with the vaccination efforts.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, 45% of Americans do not have access to public transportation. The American Hospital Association said 3.6 million Americans do not get medical care because of transportation issues each year.

Uber’s competitor, Lyft, announced in December that it would provide 60 million free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccinations sites for low-income, uninsured and at-risk communities. 

RELATED: First federal mobile COVID-19 vaccination units to launch in Maryland

Last month, President Joe Biden announced a $10 billion initiative to help expand vaccine access to better serve communities of color, rural areas, low-income populations and other underserved communities. Some of the plans included setting up federally-run community vaccination centers in hard-hit areas, sending vaccines directly to local pharmacies and Community Health Centers that disproportionately serve vulnerable populations, and launching hundreds of mobile clinics to meet people where they are; and created the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.