Uber announced that more than 100,000 drivers on its platform have received at least one COVID vaccine shot. This is part of the company’s INR 18.5 crore initiative to have 150,000 of the drivers on its platform vaccinated by year-end.
Uber has made rapid progress on driver vaccinations after announcing its first milestone last month. It has developed a robust tech-enabled validation process to authenticate each vaccination claim by matching driver details registered with Uber with drivers’ digital vaccination certificates extracted from CoWin. Once this process is completed, drivers receive INR 400 for each of the two shots for time spent getting vaccinated. The company is fighting vaccine hesitancy among drivers by using in-app messages, videos and virtual meetings with medical experts to bust myths and spread awareness on vaccination benefits.
Uber’s support to the Indian government in containing the pandemic has been appreciated. Hon’ble Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), said, “In these difficult times, transportation workers all over the nation have emerged as frontline workers to support essential services. In particular, rideshare drivers have demonstrated the power of the on-demand economy to move personnel, essential supplies, medicines and life-saving equipment. I am pleased to note that Uber India has taken a number of welfare measures towards the health and security of drivers on their platform. In particular, I would like to appreciate the initiative of cash incentives for drivers for two vaccine doses. I appreciate Uber India’s continued commitment to the welfare of the transport sector workers and wish them all the best for future endeavours.”
Speaking on the milestone, Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India South Asia, said, “Given the proven importance of vaccinations to contain the spread of COVID-19, we strongly believe that more vaccinated drivers will mean enhanced safety on our platform and boost rider confidence. We’ve received an overwhelming response from drivers and are committed to driving vaccinations for both riders and drivers. Vaccination, along with compliance of other safety measures including mandatory masks during rides and regular vehicle sanitization, will help create a safe travel zone for all.”
Uber has supported State governments to facilitate free vaccination for drivers in 12 Indian cities including Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Jaipur, Bhopal and Bhubaneswar. The company does not differentiate between drivers who have received vaccine shots at private or government facilities and compensates all drivers who produce valid proof of vaccination.
Uber has supported drivers during the pandemic through various other initiatives including a 14-day partial earning support program for drivers diagnosed with COVID-19. In the unfortunate event of a driver succumbing to COVID-19, Uber will provide a one-time support package worth INR 75,000 to help meet the immediate needs of surviving family members.
Since the early days of the pandemic, Uber has always supported and strengthened India’s response to COVID. In March this year, Uber pledged INR 10 Crores worth of free rides to help people get to and from the nearest vaccine center. In June, it announced additional INR 3.65 crore worth of free rides to facilitate transportation of life-saving oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other critical medical equipment, through partnerships with several NGOs specialized in mobilizing emergency assistance to save and sustain lives.