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Uber Asks CDC to Name Drivers Non-Health Essential Workers for Vaccine

Uber asked the CDC to designate its drivers 'non-health essential workers,' saying they provide critical transportation for essential workers.

Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report reportedly asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early covid-19 vaccine distribution.

Shares of the San Francisco company at last check were up 1% to $53.04.

The company said in a letter to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and enabled others to stay home and order food, Reuters reported.

"Early access to a vaccine would help drivers and delivery people continue to play their essential role while also reducing the risk that they may inadvertently contract, or possibly transmit, the virus," said the letter, signed by Uber's head of federal affairs, Danielle Burr.

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U.S. government officials have said that up to 20 million people could be vaccinated by the end of 2020, but that it would take until the middle of 2021 for most Americans to gain access to effective inoculation.

The CDC Advisory Committee is drafting recommendations for who should be prioritized for distribution. On Tuesday the panel said health-care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the vaccine first.

A U.S. government agency in August included ride-hail, taxi, delivery and car-rental services in a list of essential critical infrastructure workers that also included morethan 300 other job categories, Reuters reported.

Last month, Uber reported a wider-than-expected loss on lower revenue as its ride-sharing business continues to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdowns.

On Thursday Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report halved its forecast of the number of coronavirus vaccine doses it expects to produce by year's end to 50 million.