Google today announced several efforts to aid COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the US. CEO Sundar Pichai announced $150 million in ad grants, while various Google products will soon display local information.
Google Search and Maps will soon show COVID-19 vaccination locations near you. This information will be collated from government agencies, retail pharmacies, and other authoritative sources.
We’ll include details like whether an appointment or referral is required, if access is limited to specific groups, or if it has a drive-through.
When searching on Google, you’ll encounter a “COVID-19 vaccine” panel — which leverages the latest visual redesign — with several sections, including distribution, safety, and news. “Where to get it” will show a map and highlight locations. Looking up “covid vaccine” and a location/city in Maps will return a similar list.
This data is going live over the “coming weeks” for Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with more states and counties planned.
In the meantime, Search will soon surface general information about how states and regions are distributing vaccines. It comes as “vaccines near me” searches have increased 5x since the start of 2021.
Google and YouTube are also planning to launch a “Get The Facts” initiative to “get authoritative information out to the public about vaccines.” On top of this, Google is donating $100 million in ad credits to the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other nonprofits. Another $50 million will go toward helping public health agencies “reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information.”
Meanwhile, Google is offering up its various US offices as vaccination sites in partnership with local authorities and health providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected every community all over the world. It’s also inspired coordination between public and private sectors, and across international borders, on a remarkable scale. We can’t slow down now. Getting vaccines to billions of people won’t be easy, but it’s one of the most important problems we’ll solve in our lifetimes. Google will continue to support in whatever way we can.
More about COVID-19:
- Google issues fix to COVID-19 API on Android that caused endless ‘loading’ notification
- Google working to support COVID-19 Exposure Notifications on wearables, probably for Wear OS
- Search now shows COVID-19 requirements, service options for local businesses
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