Pledging $150M in COVID-19 vaccine help, Google opens some offices as vaccination sites
Google LLC will open some of its offices as COVID-19 vaccination sites, Alphabet Inc. and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog post today.
Additionally, the company intends to invest $150 million in vaccine education and add localized information to search and maps.
With the national rollout of COVID-19 vaccine underway in the U.S., one difficulty facing local governments will be the logistics of distributing it equitably while also educating the public on where to get it.
Google will start by partnering with One Medical and local health authorities to begin opening vaccination sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California, Kirkland, Washington, and New York City, with plans to expand nationally.
The company is also best known for its search and maps capability, which will be updated with authoritative and timely information on vaccines. Panels in Google Maps have been expanded on Search to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages, with more appearing in the coming week.
While Google helps people find vaccines, Amazon.com Inc. is preparing to help the country get the vaccine distributed. In a recent letter addressed to newly sworn-in President Joe Biden, Amazon stands ready to assist the U.S. with supply lines at scale using its extensive logistics and delivery network.
According to Google, searches for “vaccines near me” have increased five times since the beginning of the year and in the coming weeks, the company is committed to bringing COVID-19 vaccination locations to Google Maps, starting with Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
The search functions include details such as if appointments are required, limited access and drive-through locations, amid other information. Partners such as VaccineFinder.org and Boston Children’s Hospital will be assisting Google as well as government sources and retail pharmacies will provide authoritative information.
Of Google’s $150 million pledged for vaccine education, $100 million will go to CDC ad grants and $50 million will be invested in public health agencies for underserved regarding vaccine-related communities.
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