It’s that time of year again. The slightly crisp air begins to freeze, snow forecasts are in the near future and your neighbor already has Christmas decorations up. The transition from fall to winter hits us all hard. Besides the fact that you will no longer feel comfortable in a light fall jacket outside and it is less acceptable to eat copious amounts of candy corn, at one point or another the seasonal sickness will reintroduce itself into your life. Nothing is worse than getting the flu after just coming to terms with the fact that you have to wait an entire year before re-watching every Halloweentown movie. Most of us are too lazy to leave our houses to enter the bitter outdoors with the intention of getting a needle, which may or may not actually prevent the flue, injected into our bodies. An unlikely source is here to change that: Uber.
That’s right. A transportation company is vaccinating civilians in their homes and workplace. Before you let preconceived notions of a somewhat sketchy sounding program infiltrate your brain, there is some validity to Uber’s new practice.
The process is similar to requesting a car on the Uber app. By clicking on the UberHealth option, anybody can request a nurse to either their home or office. All requests only cost $10.00, regardless of the number of people getting vaccinated in that location. Never before have you thought of splitting the cost of a flu shot with the head of accounting until now. Thankfully these nurses are not provided by Uber themselves. Uber has teamed up with Passport Health, “the largest provider of travel medicine services”, who will send certified nurses to the requested locations.
This is the second year Uber has implemented this alternative method of delivering flu shots. Last year only a few major metropolitan areas were granted this service, including Boston. However, this coming flu season close to three dozen cities in the United States will have this service readily available.
My initial instincts made me think this to be an extremely unsafe program, one in which the system can be easily manipulated by those who pose as nurses and are welcomed into a stranger’s home. My inner cynicism has been combated upon learning that a legit travel medical clinic would be providing these nurses.
You may be wondering why such a program is necessary when many local grocery stores and doctor’s offices provide flu shots without the extra worry about the legitimacy of it all. However, studies reveal that after asking previous users of UberHealth, “nearly 80 percent said they were unlikely to have gotten the vaccine if not for the on-demand delivery.” This unconventional service is increasing the number of people who are getting vaccinated this flu season. The sad reality is that many are too lazy to make the trip to get their flu shot and end up not getting one at all. With this extremely convenient service, it is likely that the number of those getting vaccinated will rise significantly. It should be noted that this service provides great opportunity for those who are unable to get vaccinated for reasons other than laziness, such as issues with transportation, scheduling, etc. This service makes it possible for everyone to stay healthy this upcoming winter.
After learning of this new service, skepticism got the best of me. Once I researched the legitimacy and legality of it all, it actually seems like it could be a useful service to those who need it. Either way, the more people getting vaccinated the better, even if it’s Uber’s doing.