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Google will help users find credible information about COVID-19 vaccine in India

To curb misinformation, Google has taken measures to provide accurate, science-based information about vaccines to the public.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | March 12, 2021 | Updated 13:11 IST

Highlights

  • The COVID-19 vaccination process has kickstarted in India.
  • Google has taken measures to provide accurate, science-based information about vaccines to the public.
  • Google has collaborated with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide accurate information.

The COVID-19 vaccination process has kickstarted in India. Along with this, a lot of misinformation about the same have also started floating on the internet. To curb misinformation, Google has taken measures to provide accurate, science-based information about vaccines to the public. The search giant has collaborated with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide accurate, and science-based information about the vaccines to the public to provide factual information to the users about the COVID-19 vaccination.

"As the government activates the processes involved in implementing these large-scale vaccinations, our teams have been hard at work to surface 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," Google said in a statement.

When the first phase of vaccinations was rolled out in India, Google rolled out knowledge panels in Google Search that show up for queries relating to the COVID vaccine. These panels provided correct information about the two vaccines— Covaxcin and Covishield that are currently available in India. The panels also display the effectiveness, safety, distribution, side effects, and more about the vaccines that the public should know. The information is also available in English and eight Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Hindi.

"Our teams also supported the MoHFW in helping optimize their website for mobile viewers by improving the website's page load times, enabling users to find information swiftly. We also helped localize their various vaccination resource pages into the eight Indian languages listed above. On YouTube, we launched information panels that show up when searching for COVID-related queries and also have a banner on the YouTube homepage, both of which redirect to key vaccine resources on the MoHFW website. We also featured FAQ videos from the MoHFW on the YouTube homepage," Google statement read.

Google is helping 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.

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