Google has reportedly decided to put up as much as $267.5 million to fund efforts related to getting more people the Covid-19 vaccination. That won’t just be in the US either. In fact, the company will provide both funds and ad grants to vaccine education bodies as well as direct funding to governments. Public health organizations will be on the receiving end too, with those funds going toward vaccine-related announcements.
What is Google going to fund, exactly, to drive global vaccination efforts?
Google’s goal here appears to be serving countries and communities that may otherwise be overlooked. To that end, as much as $2.5-million in funding will go to community organizations, including those serving vaccine-hesitant communities. More specifically, that will go from Google.org to Partners in Health, Stop the Spread, and Team Rubicon. And those organizations will be working directly with more than 500 community-based organizations serving “Black, Latino, and rural communities.”
That portion of the funding, Google Health’s Chief Health Officer Karen DeSalvo explains, will go toward things like pop-up vaccination sites as well. And, taking things a step further, Google Cloud is launching an expanded virtual agent as part of its Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution (IVIs). That will, in turn, help people schedule vaccination appointments and ask questions via a virtual agent. With that agent being available in 28 languages and dialects.
To ensure that IVIs is readily accessible, regardless of connectivity, it will be available in chat, text, web, mobile, or over phone calls.
The bulk of Google’s endeavor will be on the ad front
Now, the bulk of Google’s clout is in ads. That is, after all, its primary business. So that’s where the company plans to put forward the most effort too. Google is committing $15-million in Ad Grants to that end, which will be used to fund education communications regarding vaccinations. The grants will go to Gavi and The Vaccine Alliance.
Gavi hopes to use the funds to gain vaccines for countries that don’t necessarily have the means to gain them as part of COVAX. And Google will be providing technical assistance at no cost for that endeavor as well as providing matching for employee donations towards Gavi.
Lastly, Google will fund PSAs by public health organizations in both English and non-English-speaking communities. To that end, it’s committing $250 million in Ad grants. That will, Google says, help fund “2.5 billion vaccine-related PSAs.”