Google has been at the forefront of developing meaningful COVID-related features across its products including a COVID layer in Maps, COVID-related health and safety precautions in Google Travel, to name a few. The company’s latest feature addition to Google Search is a list of authorized vaccines at your location.
Vaccine Information in Google Search
Starting in the United Kingdom, Google has partnered with health authorities to show authorized vaccines in the user’s location. Furthermore, the company promises to expand the availability of the feature to more countries when health authorities begin authorizing vaccines.
Once available, you’ll see a ‘vaccines’ panel in Google Search. You can see more details about the vaccine when you tap on it. This is not the first time Google is using such panels in Google Search. The company took a similar approach to showcase COVID-19 information and to help users find testing centers.
“Communities will be vaccinated at an unprecedented pace and scale. This will require sharing information to educate the public, including addressing vaccine misperceptions and hesitance, and helping to surface official guidance to people on when, where and how to get vaccinated,” says Karen DeSalvo, MD, M.P.H, Chief Health Officer – Google Health and Kristie Canegallo, Google’s VP of Trust & Safety.
In its blog post, Google notes that users viewed COVID-19 information panels on YouTube over 400 billion times ever since the company introduced the feature this March. If this figure is any indication, the new vaccine panel will help curb the spread of misinformation on a massive scale.
Google also highlights how it offered $250 million in Ad Grants to over 100 government agencies across the globe. Agencies used this fund to help spread crucial COVID-related public service announcements. The company also offered $6.5 million to support COVID-19 related fact-checking initiatives and has now added a $1.5 million fund to support the creation of COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub, a fact-checking research initiative by the Australian Science Media Centre.