The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine means that a lot of people will soon be looking for vaccination sites. As usual, Google wants to take center stage in getting people where they are going, and in a new blog post, Google says it will be loading Search and Maps with information about vaccination sites. “In the coming weeks,” the company writes, “COVID-19 vaccination sites will be available in Google Search and Maps, starting with Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, with more states and countries to follow.”
Soon you’ll be able to search for “COVID Vaccine” and get location results with entry requirements, appointment information, and whether a site has a drive-through. Google says it is partnering with Boston Children’s Hospital’s VaccineFinder.org, government agencies and retail pharmacies.
Elsewhere in the Google empire, the company says it will open several Google facilities as vaccine sites.
To help with vaccination efforts, starting in the United States, we will make certain Google facilities, such as buildings, parking lots and open spaces, available as needed. These sites are open to anyone who is eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines. We begin by partnering with healthcare provider One Medical and public health authorities to open locations in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, with plans to expand nationally. We are working with local officials to determine when locations can open based on local vaccine availability.
Google also says it plans to launch a “Get the Facts” campaign on all of its services, likely to counter the conspiracy theories that the company often catches promoting via its YouTube algorithm. The post says the initiative will run on Google and YouTube to “bring authoritative information about vaccines to the public”.
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