Tech giant Google has planned to open its facilities in the US, as contribution to the fight against Covid. Said spaces will act as mass vaccination sites. Consequently, it joins other big companies like Disney, Amazon and Starbucks in helping public authorities to disseminate the vaccines faster.
GOOGLE ‘S PLAN
We know Google is opening up its spaces for the vaccination drive. But in addition to this, Google has also committed $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable access. The amount is divided into 2 sub heads: –
- $100 million = Advertising grants for WHO as well as global non-profits
- $50 million = Grants to agencies. These agencies shall make the vaccine information reach Undeserved Populations.
Additionally, it plans to expand the vaccine information panels in its search results. It will include information about local and state distribution processes as well as the eligibility criteria for the people. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has summed up Google’s efforts in his statement.
Today we’re announcing that we’ll be opening up Google spaces to serve as mass vaccination sites, committing more than $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution, and making it easier for you to find where and when to get a vaccine
SUNDER PICHAI (CEO, Google)
Soon, Google Maps and the regular search engine will display Covid-19 vaccination spots. Buildings, parking lots and open spaces will be made available as needed, firstly in the US and then in other countries. To help find accurate and timely information on vaccines, Google has expanded its information panels on Search to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages, with more rolling out in the coming week. In addition, Google also plans to launch the “Get The Facts” initiative on Google and YouTube to get authoritative information about public vaccines.
WHY THIS STEP??
Google claims that the phrase “vaccines near me” have increased 5-fold since the beginning of the year. This is the reason it’s updating Google Maps and searches with information on vaccination spots.
In addition, Covid cases in the US don’t seem to slow down. It is evident from the 100,000+ cases mark that it constantly maintains. Thus, not only is an inoculation drive important, it’s also important that vaccine reaches more and more people in a short span of time.
This step also uses Google’s reach to parts of the world where reaching conventionally is almost impossible. Such an undeserved population will also be able to access vaccination spots at par with others. The success of this step however depends on how effectively Google ramps up its service in other nations.
All in all, this is a welcome step by the tech giant. It’s a step that will make use of the “shrunken world” that technology has created and reduce the disparity between the developed and developing world. Most importantly, this is a great step forward in mankind’s battle against COVID-19.