In an unusual business tie-up, biotech Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and ridesharing king Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) are collaborating on a program to raise awareness of coronavirus vaccines.
According to a press release published jointly by both companies, they will “will work together initially to provide accessible, credible information on vaccine safety through Uber’s in-app messaging… [and] work with public health and other organizations to identify additional opportunities to support ongoing efforts to broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines.”
Moderna has developed and brought to market one of only two coronavirus vaccines that have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its mRNA-1273, and Pfizer and BioNTech‘s BNT162b2, are currently being distributed and administered throughout the country. Both rollouts have been slow. Even if it’s only marginally effective, this new initiative will be welcome.
In addition to raising awareness of the coronavirus vaccines, Moderna and Uber are considering more direct ways to get Americans inoculated. These include the embedding of Uber ride scheduling into immunization appointment booking, among other measures.
In the press release, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said that this is only the first of what will be a series of collaborations for the biotech.
“As part of our commitment to help address COVID-19, Moderna will be working with a coalition of partners to educate, build trust around, and increase awareness of the importance of vaccination in those communities significantly impacted by the pandemic,” Bancel said. He did not identify those partners.
Last month, Uber pledged to provide 10 million free or discounted rides for people to receive their shots of vaccine. That initiative is aimed at serving people in disadvantaged communities.
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