Google has made the search for the nearest available COVID-19 vaccination sites much easier as it added site locations on its Search and Maps services to have more people receive their vaccines as faster as possible.

The service is initially available in the US, Canada, France, Chile, India, and Singapore.

Users just need to key in "vaccination sites" to secure a map with pins tagging several locations near them that offer such shots.

Google to Deploy "Virtual Agents" to Assist in Vaccinations

Google AI is likewise deploying "virtual agents" that can assist people to find out their eligibility for vaccination, book appointments, and even receive notifications and reminders, as the day nears.

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Tech Giant Sponsors COVID-19 Pop-up Vaccination Sites

Google also announced it is supporting pop-up vaccination sites all over the US for marginalized groups, and providing 250,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries that would need them.

To coincide with Google's Intelligent Vaccine Impact, the tech giant is utilizing its Contact Center AI (CCAI) to enable virtual agents on the chat, web, text, telephone, and mobile platforms to help users raising eligibility concerns, scheduling, registration, and reminders in 28 languages.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This virtual agent shall be developed to comprehend how people talk and the various ways they would express the same question or intent.

This includes the questions, "Where can I get the vaccine?" or "When can I get it?" which are the same question, and using CCAI, the virtual agent would understand the question's context and accurately answer it.

These virtual agents also assist public health agencies in offering vaccine eligibility updates in real-time.

Millions Pledged for COVID-19-related PSAs

Google has also pledged an additional $250 million worth of grants to sponsor 2.5 billion vaccine-related ads, which now amounts to an $800 million commitment to public service announcements (PSAs). also bestowed $2.5 million in grants to healthcare organizations that target pop-up vaccination sites in marginalized communities.

Research revealed that around seven in 10 people go to the Internet first to look for health information. As such Google said a "health equity" shall be embedded across all its products.

These new features and announcements come in line with other COVID-19-related updates to Google Maps, such as info on location denseness, transit alerts, and travel restrictions.

Last September, Google added a new Google Maps layer that provides users frequently updated information on COVID-19 outbreaks in a geographic region.

Easy-to-spot COVID-19 Info

Users in the 220 countries and territories Google Maps currently supports can simply tap the "layers" button on the map's right hand corner and then click "COVID-19 info".

A week's average of new infections per 100,000 people shall appear, including a label that would indicate if the cases were trending up or down.

Google also allied with Apple on a contact-tracing software using Bluetooth to warn people if they have been in close proximity with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

Users can also decide if they intend to declare they had tested positive, using a PIN for anonymity.

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