Young people are masquerading as food delivery drivers to jump the queue for COVID-19 vaccines, report says

Sophia Ankel
·3 min read
DoorDash delivery driver courier brooklyn bike
A Doordash delivery person rides their bike on Church Avenue in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, on December 4, 2020. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
  • Young people are posing as delivery drivers to get a COVID-19 vaccine early, according to a report.

  • The Daily Beast reported that students are signing up for apps like DoorDash, and Uber Eats.

  • Several US states opened up vaccine eligibility to delivery drivers earlier this year.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Young and healthy people are pretending to be drivers for food-delivery apps including DoorDash and UberEats in an attempt to jump the queue for a coronavirus vaccine, according to a report by The Daily Beast.

While some states have already made it eligible for over 16's to get a vaccine, some especially eager young people have tried to get their hands on them even earlier.

Delivery drivers, who have been considered essential workers during the pandemic, have been told and several states, including California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, that they're eligible for a vaccine.

Young people appear to be taking advantage of this loophole by signing up as drivers on food-delivery apps and then registering for a vaccine under their state's guidelines - a process they described as quick and easy.

Read more: Uber is battling DoorDash to rule food delivery. These are the steps Uber's CEO is taking to topple Eats' biggest rival.

Brent Huot, a 20-year-old student at Syracuse University, told The Daily Beast that it took him several minutes to sign up as a driver for DoorDash.

"[It] took a few hours to confirm me, then I was in and good to go and use that as a reason to get vaccinated," he said, according to The Daily Beast.

The Syracuse University student said he received his second dose of the vaccine two days before most New York college students would become eligible for their first. The New York State Department of Health announced on April 6 that vaccine eligibility is open to all residents over the age of 16.

Huat also said he has helped more than 80 other students sign up for a vaccine via the DoorDash method, and that he thinks it's important that young people get vaccinated as soon as possible because they've been the main group driving the spread of the virus.

More than 31 million people in the United States have so far been infected with COVID-19, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

Huat said he used DoorDash to sign up as a driver due to its easy and quick sign-up process (signing up only requires a few minutes), but others have described using Postmates and UberEats as well.

"Dashers have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, serving communities and small businesses across the country, and we remain committed to supporting them everyday and keeping our communities healthy and safe," DoorDash spokesman Taylor Bennett told Insider in an email.

"We are actively engaging with public health officials at the federal and state levels to help ensure these vital delivery workers have access to vaccines at the earliest possible opportunity, and we continue to educate Dashers on vaccine distribution efforts, the resources available, and how they can best stay informed."

Insider has also reached out to UberEats and Postmates for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

More than 195 million doses have already been administered in the US so far, according to a tracker by Bloomberg. But even though the vaccine rollout is well underway, experts say it will still take some time to return to normalcy.

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has previously said that vaccinating 70% to 85% of America's population would enable a return to normalcy.

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