Google today announced that it is opening its select facilities in the U.S. available as needed for vaccination clinics. In a blog post detailing what the search giant is doing to help get vaccines to more people, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote:
To help with vaccination efforts, starting in the United States, we’ll make select Google facilities—such as buildings, parking lots and open spaces—available as needed. These sites will be open to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines.
Google is teaming up with health care provider One Medical and various public health authorities to open sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City. While Google is starting in the U.S., the announcement suggests the search giant plans to allow its offices in other countries to serve as vaccination clinics.
Along with making its spaces available as needed, Google has announced that it is investing $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable access. To provide accurate and timely information on COVID-19 vaccination, Google has expanded its information panels on Search to over 40 countries in dozens of languages. It is also set to launch a “Get The Facts” initiative across Google and YouTube to spread authoritative information on vaccines to the public.
Google noted in its announcement that searches for “vaccines near me” have gone up significantly since the beginning of the year. Users in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will soon be able to view COVID-19 vaccination locations near them in Google Search and Maps. The functionality is expected to expand to more states and countries in the months ahead.
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