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Need a Flu Shot? Call Uber

Update Date: Oct 24, 2014 10:42 AM EDT

If you live in Boston, New York City or Washington, D.C., you can call Uber for more than just a cab ride. According to the car service company, users can request UberHEALTH, a limited, one-time program, for a free delivery of the flu shot.

"We will be watching very closely to see whether there may be long-term possibilities for improving access to vaccines and health care in general," Meghan Joyce, the general manager of Uber in Boston, said reported by the Boston Globe.

UberHEALTH was developed by John Brownstein, an epidemiologist from Harvard Medical School. Brownstein was interested in finding different ways to increase the country's flu vaccination rates. The flu shot is the best preventive measure for influenza. Even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses the importance of getting inoculated every year, the rates are still lower than ideal.

To use the service, all people have to do is press on a button in the Uber application. Once the service is requested, an Uber driver will bring a nurse or a doctor right their office or home. After a few signatures, the health care worker can administer up to 10 shots. The medical professional will also distribute flue prevention kits.

People who use the program will have to pick a location for the vaccination process. None of the shots will be administered in the vehicle. People will not have to present an insurance card.

"I called because I am very serious about getting a flu shot every year," commented David Cohen-Tanugi reported by USA Today. "I'm really happy Uber is exploring creative and alternative uses for their platform, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes."

"They got here in about 15 minutes, and the nurse did everyone really quickly and professionally," another user, Glori Blatt, 26, said. "It was a super easy, painless process. I'm so busy, I only go to the doctor when I'm really sick. I know they offer flu shots at pharmacies, but I'm always turned off by the idea of getting a shot in such a public spot, so I loved this."

The promotion is one of several experiments to extend the company's duties beyond transportation. UberHEALTH is available from 10am-3pm E.T.

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