Google on Friday said it will start showing information related to vaccination centres on its various platforms like search, maps and Google Assistant. Google, in a blogpost, said its teams have been working on surfacing "authoritative and timely information" for people asking vaccine-related questions.
"We have worked with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to amplify this science-based narrative around vaccination drive, and have been working closely with the Rapid Risk Response team at the MoHFW that is tracking misinformation using social media listening tools across region and languages, and countering it with science-based messaging on vaccines and pandemic response overall," it said.
Shortly after the first phase of vaccinations commenced, Google had rolled out knowledge panels in Google Search that show up for queries relating to the COVID vaccine.
This was done to help people find credible information as these panels provided consolidated information such as details on the two vaccines, effectiveness, safety, distribution, side effects, among others and is available in English and eight Indian languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Hindi).
This information is sourced from MoHFW, and provides answers to commonly asked questions, displays real-time statistics around vaccinations completed, and provides links to the MoHFW website for additional local resources, Google said.
"With vaccinations for the vulnerable population having commenced from 1st March in thousands of hospitals across the country, we are also working with the MoHFW and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accurately surface the information on vaccination centers on Google Search, Maps and Google Assistant, and expect to roll this out in the coming weeks," Google said.
Google also delivers regular Google Trends reports on COVID vaccine queries that reflect interest around the vaccination from month to month across regions to help government officials as they make critical decisions during these vaccination rollouts, the blogpost said.
"As COVID-19 continues to challenge our communities, we remain committed to doing all we can to assist the country's health agencies at this key juncture of the pandemic, where the successful rollout of these large-scale vaccinations can help us collectively turn a corner and see a much-needed return to normalcy," it added.
More than 2.61 crore (2,61,64,920) vaccine doses have been administered through 4,87,919 sessions, as per the provisional report till Friday 7 am.
These include 72,23,071 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have been administered the 1st dose, 40,56,285 HCWs who have been given the 2nd dose, 71,21,124 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the 1st dose and 6,72,794 FLWs who have taken the 2nd dose).
Besides, 10,30,612 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific comorbidities (1st Dose) and 60,61,034 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years also were administered the 1st dose.