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The Biden administration has reached agreements with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to coronavirus vaccination sites through July 4, the White House announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The free rides, starting in the next two weeks, are part of the Biden administration's push to administer at least one vaccine dose to 70% of U.S. adults by Independence Day.

How it works: A new feature will allow app users to "simply select a vaccination site near them, follow simple directions to redeem their ride, and then get a ride to take them to and from a nearby vaccination site free of charge," according to the White House.

  • Lyft and Uber are not being paid by the federal government for the rides, but the Biden administration is sharing data on about 80,000 vaccination sites around the country as part of the partnerships, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Context: The agreement comes as several states have requested fewer vaccine doses as demand for shots has plummeted.

  • It may be more difficult to administer future doses since people who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated have likely already received at least one dose.
  • More than 46% of Americans have received at least one dose, while 34.8% are fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

What they're saying: "Helping more Americans get vaccinated helps the Lyft community of drivers and riders, and we’re grateful to the Biden administration for prioritizing access," John Zimmer, co-founder and president of Lyft, told the Journal.

  • “Vaccines are our best hope to beat this pandemic, and soon everyone in America will be able to take a free Uber to get their shot," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also told the Journal.

Go deeper: FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Go deeper

Biden's booster plan receives criticism at home and abroad

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Photo: Samuel Corum/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wednesday's announcement that all Americans will be eligible for COVID-19 boosters eight months after their second dose was met with skepticism at home and opposition abroad.

Driving the news: Many public health experts criticized the decision as premature or even unethical, and that eight months is too long — vulnerability can return as soon as five months after the second dose.

Updated Aug 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden says nursing home staff must be vaccinated for federal funding

President Biden speaking from the White House on Aug. 16. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden said Wednesday that nursing home and long-term care facilities must vaccinate their staff against COVID-19 to continue to receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding in response to lagging vaccination rates and a surge of new cases from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Federal data showed that 60% of nursing home staff and around 82% of residents had been vaccinated against the virus in early August, even though they were among the first groups in the country to gain access to vaccines earlier this year.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker