Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the tech giant will open up its spaces in the US that will serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination centres. “To help get vaccines to more people, Google is providing $150M to promote vaccine education & equitable access, and opening up our spaces for vaccination sites as needed". He added, "On Search & Maps, we’re making it easy to find when + where to get a vaccine."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Google has helped more than 100 government agencies and global non-governmental organisations. As per a Google blog, this time it is announcing a $100 million in ad grants for the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and nonprofits around the globe. Also, the tech giant will be investing another $50 million in partnership with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information.
The aim is to focus on equitable access to vaccines. As per the early data, disproportionately affected populations, especially people of colour and those in rural communities. To help this issue, Google.org has committed $5 million in grants to organisations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, including Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation. In order to help with finding accurate and timely information regarding vaccines, the company has expanded its information panels on Search to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages.
As per the blog, searches for “vaccines near me” have increased 5x since the beginning of the year. Google says that it wants to make sure that they provide people with relevant answers. The blog read, “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. We’re working with partners like VaccineFinder.org, an initiative of Boston Children's Hospital, and other authoritative sources, such as government agencies and retail pharmacies, to gather vaccination location information and make it available”.