By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) — A big development in the drive to vaccinate as many Americans as possible.

Walgreens and Uber are teaming up for a new program that starts in Chicago next week. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot spent the day looking into the new plan, which includes free rides to get vaccinated.

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Uber is providing 10 million free rides to Walgreens locations across the country. The rides will be given to people in underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

“We’re going to start in Chicago, but we’re going to expand into Houston, Atlanta, El Paso as well,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said on “CBS This Morning.”

Khosrowshahi said transportation should never be a barrier for health care. He explained how the Uber partnership with Walgreens will work, to help those in need, get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As you schedule an appointment with Walgreens, you’re going to get an email from Uber, Khosrowshahi said. “Most people have an Uber account. If you don’t have an Uber account, you can create an Uber account and then you’ll have access to free transportation, to get to that Walgreens and get your vaccine.”

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Rina Shah is Walgreens’ Vice President of Pharmacy Operations and Services. Shah said the priority, is those who need the vaccine the most.

“(To) ensure that those individuals that are eligible are the ones able to schedule an appointment,” Shah said.

The National Urban League is part of the partnership effort. Chicago Urban League President and CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson said the program is about equity when it comes to making sure people of color have access to the vaccine.

“We understand the devastation the pandemic has brought about in the black community and we know one of the ways that we can come out of this, is through the widespread use of the vaccine,” said Freeman-Wilson.

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Freeman-Wilson added the Chicago Urban League is hosting virtual monthly town hall meetings for communities of color throughout Illinois, to provide people with information and dispel myths about the vaccine.

Suzanne Le Mignot