Injections were administered by trained nurses, and they were allowed to offer up to 10 free shots at each location. Uber also donated $5 to the Red Cross for each person who received a shot.
However, Dan Diamond, a writer for Forbes, was dissatisfied by Uber’s flu-shot spree. “In D.C., Uber sent a 9 am email alerting users that flu shots-on-demand would be available — but I didn’t get it until nearly 1 pm, two hours before the promotion was scheduled to end. And while I logged into Uber and saw the prompt from Uber Health…I was repeatedly unable to actually order a flu shot,” He reported.
BostInno journalist, Galen Moore, also didn’t have great luck hailing a flu-shot car. “I tried to summon the Fluber a handful of times, starting at 10 am sharp. No dice. Just for fun, I moved the pin over to Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, arguably the tightest concentration of advanced health care institutions in the world. Still nothing.” He also asked Uber how many flu-shot cars were on the road, and they declined to respond. According to several Reddit users, there might have actually only been one flu-shot Uber on Boston roads.
Uber’s tagline for this flu-shot delivery service is “bringing the house call back.” Uber isn’t the only company aiming to bring instant health services to the public via smart phones. DHL is in the process of testing drug delivery-by-drone on a remote German island. Google is in the midst of establishing partnerships with medicine practitioners to provide immediate, personal responses when users search for something like “food poisoning.” Amazon is also making plans for a similar project.
Uber’s flu-shot delivery day wasn’t the company’s first foray into creative publicity. Last October, Uber celebrated National Cat Day by delivering kittens to customers between 11 am and 4 pm to play with for 15-minute intervals. They also recently launched a corner store delivery service.
(Photo courtesy of Gabriel Saldana)