Google to open up its spaces to serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination sites: Sundar Pichai

Google’s Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Monday that the tech giant will open up its spaces in the US to serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination sites and committed more than $150 million to promote vaccine education.
Google is initially looking at offices’ spaces inside the US, but is open to do the same in other countries as well, a company official said.
“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,” Pichai announced in a blog post on Monday.
“Searches for ‘vaccines near me’ have increased 5x since the beginning of the year and we want to make sure we’re providing timely and locally relevant answers,” he said.
Pichai, 48, said to help with mass vaccination efforts, starting in the United States, Google will make select facilities-such as buildings, parking lots and open spaces-available 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, where needed, in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, with plans to expand nationally,” he said.
Google is working with local officials to determine when sites can open based on vaccine availability, Pichai added.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Google has helped more than 100 government agencies and global non-governmental organizations run critical public service health announcements through its Ad Grants Crisis Relief program, he said.
“Today, we’re announcing an additional $100 million in ad grants for the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and nonprofits around the globe. We’ll invest another $50 million in partnership with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information,” Pichai said.
Google’s efforts will focus heavily on equitable access to vaccines. Early data in the US shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of color and those in rural communities, are not getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups, he said.
To help, Google.org has committed $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, including Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation, he said.

Image courtesy of (IMage courtesy: firstpost.com)

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