Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced the company has raised over $150 million and made its office facilities available as COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
In a blog post, he explained that the company recognises that getting the vaccine to people has been a difficult task.
“While there is much uncertainty still ahead, the development of multiple safe vaccines in such a short time gives us the reason for hope,”
“We recognize that getting vaccines to people is a complex problem to solve, and we’re committed to doing our part,” Pichai said.
Before now, the search giant has contributed greatly to the fight against the virus.
It supported all small businesses and partnered with Apple to build an exposure notification technology to fight against covid-19.
Also, it helped more than 100 government agencies and global nonprofit organisations.
This was done by running public announcements through ad grant crisis relief program.
On its quest to keep fighting, it announced its plan to add $100 million as ad grant to CDC Foundation, World Health Organisation and other nonprofit organisations worldwide.
The search giant also said it would be investing $50 million in partnership with public health agencies.
By this, it will make the vaccine content and information available to deprived areas.
Pichai explained that there hadn’t been an equitable distribution of the vaccine in some areas; as they aren’t getting access to the vaccine the same rate others are.
“Early data in the U.S. shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of colour and those in rural communities, aren’t getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups.”
To help with this, the company committed $5 million grant to organisations that deal with racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations.
Some of which include Morehouse School of Medicine, Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation.
Google facilities as vaccination centres
Google announced that it plans to join other tech giants to provide vaccination centres to help the vaccine distribution.
Last week, Amazon announced that it was offering its facilities; Microsoft said it would open up its campuses in Redmond, Washington.
Pichai also said the company would open its facilities – real estate buildings, parking lots and open spaces available.
He added that the initiative is aimed at promoting education and speeding up the vaccine’s distribution process.
The sites would also be available to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on some factors like state and local guidelines.
Google would be partnering with local officials, health care provider One Medical and public health in areas like; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kirkland, Washington, and New York City.
Although the company hopes to expand its facilities nationally when the vaccine has become widely available.
It added that it would use its technology to improve vaccination distribution.
It would also use Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Google Cloud; to help “healthcare organizations, retail pharmacies, logistics companies, and public sector institutions” speed up the distribution of the vaccine.
Google also said that its tool will help check the temperature of vaccine doses, pre-screening, scheduling and follow up.
Last month Google launched its vaccine information panel on the search; now, it plans to expand it to more than 40 countries.
Also, it said it would be showing state and regional distribution information on search so people can easily know when they are eligible for the vaccine.
It added that it will be launching an initiative “Get The Fact” to get authoritative information on the vaccine alongside YouTube.
In the past month, Google has been making an effort to tackle the misinformation of the COVID-19 vaccine.
It even launched a $3 million fund to do so.
In October, YouTube banned several anti-vax content on its platform.
Searches on vaccine location have increased in five folds in the last couple of days, Google said.
For now, vaccine locations would only be available to Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
However, Google assured that it would make it available to other countries and states.