Google has plans to begin listing the locations of Covid-19 vaccination centres in Search and Maps. The company announced this in a blog post as part of its continued efforts to provide up to date and accurate information regarding the pandemic.
Google Search has always been a place where you can find up to date and authoritative information about the pandemic. Attempting to tackle misinformation the company has de-ranked conspiracy theories and pushed information from authoritative sources to the top of the search engine over the course of the last year.
Maps has also been an area that has housed a plethora of Covid-19 related information. Google began offering a 'Covid layer' to show users the weekly case numbers across the world.
The company also provided information to help users avoid crowds when using Maps. It introduced systems to track how busy public transport is and where crowded spaces are.
With the roll-out of vaccines worldwide, Google has now incorporated this into is platforms. Maps and Search will show authoritatively places where the vaccine is being administered in an easy to access format.
Google to provide more Covid-19 vaccine information
As reported by 9to5, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also announced $150 million in ad grants to help aid vaccine distribution. This coupled with Google displaying Covid-19 vaccination locations it hopes this will aid the roll out.
The ad grants aim to promote vaccine education and equitable access across the world. $100 million will go to the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and nonprofits around the globe.
A further $50 million will go to public health agencies to help reach underserved communities. This comes in response to early data showing high levels of disproportionate representation in the US.
Google has also expanded its search panels to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages to highlight authoritative information regarding vaccines. The company says there is more to come in this area in the coming days.
Pichai tells us that searches for “vaccines near me” have increased by 500% in 2021. As a result, Google has committed to better serving those searches.
Vaccination locations on Maps will begin rolling out with Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Pichai says that more states and countries will soon follow.
Google has also offered its own spaces to aid the vaccination rollout. It has also provided technology such as AI for truckers, and other cloud functions for healthcare authorities to help the distribution.