Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Monday that search engine giant Google will be providing $150 million to promote COVID-19 vaccine education and to make information related to vaccination more equitably accessible to the public. The company will expand Google Search and Maps to make it easier for people to find when and where to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a local level. Pichai added that Google will be opening up its select physical spaces to be used as COVID-19 vaccine sites.
"Today we're announcing that we're providing more than $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution and making it easier to find locally relevant information, including when and where to get the vaccine. We'll also be opening up Google spaces to serve as vaccination sites as needed," read an official Google release.
Google claims that during the pandemic it has helped more than 100 government agencies and global NGOs make important public health announcements through its Ad Grants Crisis Relief program. The company will now provide an additional $100 million in ad grants to the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organisation, and nonprofits around the world. It will also invest $50 million in collaboration with public health agencies to spread vaccine information in communities where it is not available.
Google will commit an additional $5 million in grants to organisations which are addressing racial and geographic disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process. These include - Morehouse School of Medicine's Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation.
Google will also be taking steps to make it easier for people to find vaccine sites. "To help find accurate and timely information on vaccines, we've expanded our information panels on Search to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages, with more rolling out in the coming week. We'll begin showing state and regional distribution information on Search so people can easily find when they are eligible to receive a vaccine," read the release. It also plans to launch 'Get The Facts' initiative across its platforms to communicate vaccine information to the public.
Google has also announced that it's making its select facilities such as building, parking lots, etc, available for the vaccination program in the US. "These sites will be open to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines. We'll start by partnering with health care provider One Medical and public health authorities to open sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, with plans to expand nationally," read the release.