Hospital personnel prepare to administer a dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
In the coming weeks, Google will begin implementing a vaccine locator service on its platforms for Texans to use, including appointment details, clinic hours and more.
The rollout comes as part of a $150 million plan announced by Google in late January for vaccine education and accessibility. Included in this plan are vaccination site location services for Texas, Arizona, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as plans to open vaccination sites as needed.
"Searches for 'vaccines near me' have increased 5x since the beginning of the year and we want to make sure we’re providing locally relevant answers," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a release
Information for the vaccination locator will be pulled from government agencies, pharmacies and VaccineFinder.org
to provide users with detailed assistance.
The plan also includes grants distributed to public health agencies and organizations assisting marginalized individuals with vaccine access.
"Our efforts will focus heavily on equitable access to vaccines. Early data in the U.S. shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of color and those in rural communities, aren’t getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups. To help, Google.org has committed $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations," said Pichai.
Although this initial rollout is limited to select states, the service is set to be implemented in other states and countries at a later date.
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