Connect with us


Lyft Urges Vaccination Officials to Allow Access for Mobility-Challenged at Drive Through Vaccination Sites


Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) today urged federal officials to ensure that drive through vaccination sites are accessible to people with mobility challenges.

In a letter to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Megan Callahan, Vice President of Lyft Healthcare said, Without addressing transportation challenges for people who do not drive, drive-through only vaccination sites may not be accessible to many high-risk populations. We are already seeing reports of seniors unable to drive long distances over long periods of time facing transportation issues as they attempt to get to mass vaccination sites.

See full text of letter below and attached.

Elizabeth Richter, Acting Administrator U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, Maryland 21244

January 22, 2021

SUBJECT: Mass vaccination center logistics Access for vulnerable populations.

Dear Acting Administrator Richter,

President Bidens plan to accelerate vaccination efforts will hinge on access to vaccination sites for millions of Americans. Many of the distribution events currently being planned make use of public event venues such as sports stadiums to conduct mass vaccination events using a drive-through model. Without addressing transportation challenges for people who do not drive, drive-through only vaccination sites may not be accessible to many high-risk populations. We are already seeing reports of seniors unable to drive long distances over long periods of time facing transportation issues as they attempt to get to mass vaccination sites. We expect this to continue as the vaccine is rolled out to the general population.

We estimate that more than 15 million Americans will face transportation barriers to accessing critical health services, including people with physical disabilities, seniors living alone, the uninsured, and low-income working parents. The experience of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft in moving large numbers of people efficiently and cost-effectively to and from large scale events is directly relevant to the logistical challenges public health officials face with vaccine distribution. Lyft is able to operate its rideshare and micro-mobility networks through a pick-up, drop-off model that provides dedicated zones and lanes for accessibility. Lyft Healthcare is also one of the largest providers of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services in the United States, providing access to transportation for up to 37 million eligible Medicaid beneficiaries across 14 states and the District of Columbia. There are three things planners can do to ensure mass vaccination sites are accessible to patients who do not drive or face mobility challenges:

  1. Establish a pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) zone, which includes:
    • Designated pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) area for patients using taxi, rideshare, or paratransit services
    • Designated areas for bikeshare and scooter parking and/or valet services
    • Accommodations for elderly patients and mobility-impaired patients with seating, wheelchair accessibility, heating and cooling
    • Waiting area to monitor for adverse reactions after the appointment
  2. If drive-through only, create a separate lane for taxis, paratransit and rideshare vehicles
    • Typically, drive-through vaccination events are designed for car owners. For individuals who need transportation assistance to access the vaccine at a drive-through vaccination event, the cost to get vaccinated can be 5-10 times higher than for those with a car. For individuals dependent upon rideshare and other non-emergency medical transportation services such as Medicaid beneficiaries the travel time to the site, plus time spent in line, plus the waiting period required to monitor the patient following vaccination can add up to between $50-$100 per vaccination. If two shots are required, the total cost can be as high as $200 per patient. This is cost-prohibitive for most who do not have transportation costs covered through Medicare, Medicaid, or other programs. For those that do, it is not an efficient use of governmental funds.
    • Creating a separate lane for taxis, paratransit and rideshare vehicles would significantly reduce costs to patients and government insurance programs such as Medicaid which is responsible for using the lowest cost transportation option as well as Medicare Advantage.
  3. Ensure all drive-through vaccine events allow for scheduled appointments to improve the patient experience, decrease costs and increase adherence to a second dose.
    • This would enable the use of pre-scheduled rides to the scheduled appointment, removing a key barrier to receiving care and appointment adherence.
    • Rideshare and other on-demand transportation platforms use sophisticated software that can be used to schedule rides to vaccination appointments, avoiding long wait times and vehicle congestion.
    • Many healthcare providers and health plans already use these software platforms to schedule rides for patients who need transportation assistance to medical appointments, improving the patient experience and reducing missed appointments by up to 73%.

Transportation access for communities of concern is often overlooked and was left unaddressed in the early stages of planning and preparation for distribution of the vaccine. The data is clear: Racial and ethnic minorities get sick and die of COVID-19 at significantly higher rates than the general population. Forty percent of Lyft rides in the US begin or end in low-income, underserved areas indicating that these populations already rely on rideshare for critical transport needs. It is essential that vaccination efforts are designed with the transportation needs of these populations in mind to ensure that the hardest-hit communities can begin to recover and the US can defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lyft is working with most major health systems as well as state and local health officials on planning and logistics for vaccine distribution efforts. We stand ready to assist you and President Bidens COVID Response Team in any way we can.


Megan Callahan, MPH Vice President, Lyft Healthcare

About Lyft Healthcare

Lyft Healthcare is one of the largest providers of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services in the United States, ensuring access to reliable rides for millions of eligible patients who lack transportation. Thousands of healthcare organizations partner with Lyft Healthcare including nine of the top 10 NEMT managers, nine of the top 10 health systems, the top 10 health plans, large retail pharmacy chains, and key healthcare IT organizations like Epic and Allscripts to reduce costs, improve the patient experience, and expand access to care. Through these partnerships, Lyft provides access to transportation for up to 37 million eligible Medicaid beneficiaries across 14 states and the District of Columbia.

Julie Wood, Lyft Communications

[email protected]


Unique French-English bilingual programme at the Canadian International School (CIS) expanding from August 2021


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – The Canadian International School (CIS) in Singapore is delighted to announce the expansion of its unique French-English bilingual programme at the Lakeside campus with the opening of a class in grade 1, 2 and 5 starting in August 2021. Going forward, the programme will now be available to students at its Lakeside campus from grade 1 through to grade 5.

“We are extremely excited about the programme’s expansion as we are the only international school in Singapore to offer a French-English bilingual program fully aligned to the International Baccalaureate PYP framework, ” says CIS Head of School Pete Corcoron. “We are delighted students can now take advantage and enjoy the programme’s unique benefits for a longer period.”

The decision to open up an additional class underscores CIS’ reputation as one of the most experienced and trusted international schools in Singapore to offer bilingual programmes. In addition to CIS’s French-English bilingual programme they also offer a Chinese-English bilingual programme for students in junior kindergarten to grade 6.

The French-English bilingual programme objective

To educate students to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural in both French and English.

Key features of the French-English bilingual programme

Each class has two qualified teachers — one English speaker and one French speaker. Instruction is inquiry-based and fully aligned to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). Students have equal exposure to both languages — classes are in English one day and French the next.

CIS’ teaching approach

All learning is done through inquiry. Wherever possible, CIS uses authentic materials (such as songs, stories, TV and websites) instead of textbooks, and engage students in active, hands-on activities like acting out plays, cooking and participating in quizzes. The school places a strong emphasis on creating authentic experiences where learning mirrors real-life activities. CIS don’t do any translating. All learning is done through immersion.

Who can enrol?

While language requirements do apply, CIS welcomes students from all backgrounds. Some students are French native-speakers while others have been educated in a French-speaking school or have a strong connection and passion for the French language.

Continue Reading


Nexstgo comprehensively enhances its range of NEXSTMALL BIZ business solutions


Giving impetus to the development of SMEs with digital strategies to maintain their competitiveness under the ‘new normal’


HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – As a developer and service provider of innovative digital and technology products, Nexstgo provides PCs, loT innovations, Artificial Intelligence application solutions, Information Technology solutions and more. Stepping into the new year, the “new normal” commercial environment continues to affect business IT purchasing decisions. In order to help SMEs be successful in their digital transformation and adapt to the new reality of remote working, Nexstgo has enhanced its business solutions available through the NEXSTMALL BIZ platform to provide a more comprehensive technology application strategy focusing on the business and commercial field. These include one-stop professional IT services, remote conferencing and VPN security systems, together with a wide range of branded NEXSTGO, VAIO and AVITA mobile computing products. Nexstgo ensures enterprises of any size and industry can find the most suitable software and hardware solutions on NEXSTMALL BIZ, helping businesses maintain the strongest performance under the continuously transforming business environment during the new year.

For more information on NEXSTMALL BIZ business solutions and exclusive offers for corporate clients, please visit:

Comprehensively monitoring the network security of customers, providing the most robust backing of IT consulting services at any time

With the routinization of “new normal” working practices, remote-work, WFH, online and cloud-based processes have become ubiquitous. Nexstgo has launched technological solutions specifically for network security management, including the installation of bank-level encryption software by Norton VPN for customers in business areas that require remote-work with a high level of integrated protection. When customers access the Internet on public Wi-Fi hotspots, these systems provide safe and effective online privacy. With the Veeam data encryption backup system, customers can work in any environment confidently. To enhance provision of security technology strategies, the company is also launching further products on NEXSTMALL BIZ, including the latest Targus Docking Station, which supports multiple USB interfaces and screen configurations; Targus Privacy Screen Filter, designed to protect high-value information; and Targus Security Cable Lock that locks the connection end of the transmission line to protect valuable resources on the device. Corporate clients who purchase designated VAIO notebooks on NEXSTMALL BIZ will also get the above-mentioned products and other valuable accessories designed to protect their business privacy. This enables customers to experience the most secure workflows, ensuring business privacy of the whole organization in the era of digital commerce.

As a strategic partner to SMEs, Nexstgo’s elite team also provides customers with professional IT support and technology operation consulting services, helping companies confidently achieve digital transformation and adapt to the “new normal”. These supporting services undertaken by the professional specialist team handle inquiries regarding computer products and software systems, and provide product management and technical support. Customers who purchase any NEXSTGO or VAIO laptop on NEXSTMALL BIZ with a subscription to a one-month IT support service will receive one-time free Data Migration support, allowing corporate clients worry-free activation of new computer equipment without affecting daily operations. Customers benefit from the strongest backing brought by the Nexstgo team whenever they need it, for peace-of-mind and smooth business operations ensuring productivity and performance.

Up-to-date video conferencing and mobile communication solutions: easily connect with customers online, anytime and anywhere

Understanding that many companies and employees have adapted to working at home or working without a fixed workplace, Nexstgo provides online and video conference software and hardware; such as NEXSTGO laptop products with dedicated functionality for online meetings equipped with a high-quality Dolby voice system, and Artificial Intelligence camera lens Huddly-IQ designed for remote video conferencing, etc. This offering provides the most accurate facial recognition and the clearest sound and picture performance, helping customers complete meetings more productively. NEXSTMALL BIZ also offers combination packages of software/hardware available at discounted rates. For example, customers can redeem a Huddly-IQ lens at a discounted price when purchasing a designated VAIO laptop; get 3-year on-site warranty and Jabra headset for free when purchasing a NEXSTGO SU03 laptop, a conference-specific model with FHD IR webcam and Dolby ATMOS. The choice of different combinations of software and hardware help managers select the most effective process strategies according to their business needs.

Nexstgo recognizes that companies must be able to achieve instant interaction and clarity of communication with customers as a key to being competitive. Therefore, Nexstgo has collaborated with outstanding customer service cloud platforms to launch cooperative business solutions. For example, corporate clients who buy any NEXSTGO or VAIO laptop on NEXSTMALL BIZ can enjoy a free service trial of customer interaction at Maaiiconnect platform, including free conversations with end customers on its platform for up to 5000 minutes and real-time web conversations. The package helps companies of all sizes to deliver excellent customer service, and to keep pace with fast-changing business environments. By taking advantage of these solutions and transforming into an e-commerce business – with the realities of the ‘new normal’ replacing traditional face-to-face service – companies can greatly increase their revenues, productivity and cost management performance.

About Nexstgo Company Limited

Established in 2016, Nexstgo Company Limited was co-founded by Mr. Wilson Leung, Chairman & CEO, Alco Holdings Limited (SEHK: 0328), and Mr. Alex Chung, out of a shared passion and pursuit of quality tech-innovation. Nexstgo is committed to bringing new revolutionary experiences in technology through introducing a wide product range, which includes PC, Smart home, IoT, artificial intelligence and corporate solutions. Nexstgo is growing steadily in the Asia Pacific region. In August 2016, its Hong Kong headquarters and Taiwan Design Centre were set up. In just four years, the company has expanded its business to 22 areas, and is fully committed to the development of the Tech Market. In June 2018, Nexstgo was authorized by VAIO Corporation to participate in the production, sales, marketing and after-sales services of VAIO notebook products in Asia, covering markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.

Continue Reading


Black Spade Capital Aims to Build an SPAC-themed Portfolio


HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – 2020 proved to be a great year for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). The market saw more high-profile investors joining the party while a record number of companies went public through this unique structure. With a whopping US$80 billion raised by over 230 blank-cheque companies, SPAC IPOs not only represented approximately 50% of total IPO issuance in the US in 2020, the massive amount raised by SPACs even eclipsed traditional IPOs last year.

Mr. Dennis Tam, President and CEO

SPAC Trend Continues To Heat Up

While SPACs continue to be favoured by institutional and private investors alike in the US, they are also gaining momentum in Asia. Savvy investors in the East are catching up fast with the trend and among them is Black Spade Capital Limited, the family office of casino magnate Lawrence Ho Yau Lung.

“We aim to be one of the first Asian family offices to build an SPAC-themed portfolio,” said Mr. Dennis Tam, President and CEO of Black Spade Capital. He added that “of course, we have to be selective — only high-quality SPACs with great potential are considered”.

One catalyst, Two Criteria

Mr. Tam considers the current close-to-zero or, in some cases, negative interest rate environment as one of the catalysts that contribute to the success of SPAC IPOs. “Loose monetary policy means lower cost of funds and greater incentive for investors to look for new investments. SPACs enjoy a great start this year with over US$45 billion raised by more than 140 new SPACs to-date — the fact that both the number and size of SPAC deals in the first two months of 2021 represent some 56% of the full-year performance in 2020 reflects just how buoyant the SPAC market is. The whole SPAC trend has to do to a certain extent with the abundance of capital in the market seeking return. When the interest rate picks up, the trend may slow down” said Mr. Tam.

Mr. Tam commented that the family office places importance on the sponsors in terms of selection criteria. “There are two main criteria — sponsors’ reputation and their track record. Sponsors are the face of an SPAC. They set out the road map of the investment vehicle. Their track record gives us a glimpse of what the sponsors are capable of. I always find one-on-one investor meeting a good way to learn about the vision and strategy that the sponsors have for their SPACs. A reputable sponsor boosts investor confidence. Some people point out that sponsors typically receive 20% of the equity in the SPAC; in my opinion, this mechanism helps align sponsors’ interest with that of investors which is actually positive — as long as the sponsors deliver, they deserve a matching reward. After all, if the sponsors successfully acquire or merge with a promising target (i.e. de-SPAC), everybody wins” explained Mr. Tam.

The relatively straightforward structure of SPACs also begins to appeal to many family offices. “As the name suggests, an SPAC has the sole purpose of merging with a private company and taking it public. The tenor is usually capped at two years and the sector from which the SPAC identifies its acquisition target is announced before the SPAC is listed. The fund raised by an SPAC usually serves as a good indication of the size of the future target, which is typically 3x to 4x the size of the SPAC. This is the kind of clarity that investors appreciate,” explained Mr. Tam. “Also, SPAC issuers offer to redeem the shares from investors at a call price equivalent to the IPO price if they do not like the acquisition target. This capital protection mechanism affords greater assurance to investors” added Mr. Tam.

Mr. Tam believes that investor education will encourage more Asian family offices as well as other investors in the region to participate in this SPAC trend. “We had several rounds of in-depth discussions with various investment banks and private banks before making our first SPAC investment last year,” recalled Mr. Tam. “In the process, our bankers get to understand our investment appetite and selection criteria and are able to introduce different SPAC opportunities to us” said Mr. Tam.

In terms of Black Spade Capital’s target return with regard to SPACs, “We have seen some truly impressive performance of certain star SPACs, such as QuantumScape and Draft Kings, which have realized a return of close to 10x and 4x, respectively, in 2020. Naturally, we look for above average return and we believe the key to achieve this is to invest in quality SPACs at the time of IPO” said Mr. Tam.

About Black Spade Capital Limited (黑桃資本有限公司)

Black Spade Capital Limited is an established family office that manages the private investments of Mr. Lawrence Ho. Headquartered in Hong Kong, its global portfolio consists of a wide spectrum of cross-border investments as it consistently seeks to add new projects and opportunities to its investment mix. Black Spade’s investment strategy maximizes coverage of geographic regions and sectors whilst maintaining a portfolio of diversified asset classes, ranging from equity, fixed income, medical technology, leisure and culture, green energy, real estate to Pre-IPO investments.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call for Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Posts

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

HKGSEO Provides Free Website SEO Analysis and Consulting Services

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – The COVID-19 epidemic has lasted for nearly a year....

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Media OutReach Expands into China with Strategic Partnership with Xinhua Finance Agency

The newswire continues growing its foothold in Asia by opening its 7th office in the region   HONG KONG SAR...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Voluntary Announcement: IND Approval Received for A Phase III Clinical Trial of OT-101 in the United States

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – This announcement is made by Ocumension Therapeutics (the “Company“,...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Citi Plus® Official Launch Ceremony

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 Photo 1 Mr Lawrence Lam, Consumer Business Manager of Citibank...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Hong Kong Productivity Council and Hong Kong Computer Society Sign Pact to Enhance the Adoption of Emerging Technologies in Hong Kong

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and the Hong...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Citibank Officially Launches Citi Plus®

Co-creating With Target Clients to Suit Their Banking and Investment Needs Fostering Financial Education to Level-Up Digital Natives Through Mobile...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Kerry Logistics Network Extends Winning Streak at the Quamnet Outstanding Enterprise Awards for Sixth Year Running

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – Kerry Logistics Network Limited (‘Kerry Logistics Network’; Stock Code...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Black Spade Capital Aims to Build an SPAC-themed Portfolio

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – 2020 proved to be a great year for Special...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Nexstgo comprehensively enhances its range of NEXSTMALL BIZ business solutions

Giving impetus to the development of SMEs with digital strategies to maintain their competitiveness under the ‘new normal’   HONG...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News17 mins ago

Unique French-English bilingual programme at the Canadian International School (CIS) expanding from August 2021

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 22 February 2021 – The Canadian International School (CIS) in Singapore is delighted to announce...