Lyft Seeks High Priority Status For Drivers For Covid-19 Vaccine

Ride-hailing company Lyft urged governors and local policymakers to give high priority status to drivers in the early phases of Covid-19 vaccine distribution, considering them as non-health essential workers.

The appeal comes as the U.S. started distributing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to front-line healthcare workers and nursing home staffs Monday following approvals by the drug regulators.

The initial vaccine doses, consisting 2.9 million doses, are being distributed in the U.S. by the Department of Defense in partnership with agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, including the CDC. In early December, an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had proposed that healthcare workers and long-term facility residents should be given the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a blog post, Lyft said, “We fought for drivers to be designated as essential workers at the outset of the pandemic, and we believe they should be prioritized because of the essential services they provide and the critical role they will play in transporting vulnerable populations to vaccine access points.”

According to the company, drivers on platforms like Lyft have provided hundreds of millions of rides across the country since the starting of the coronavirus pandemic around nine months ago.

The drivers transport patients who need regular rides to and from medical appointments, provide healthcare, public safety and other first responders with rides to work. They also deliver essential goods, including meals for home-bound seniors and school lunches for low-income families.

Lyft Healthcare offers non-emergency medical transportation services in the country.

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