$100 mn will be provided in ad grants to the CDC Foundation, WHO, and multiple non-profit bodies and $50 mn, to provide vaccine-related content and information to underprivileged communities
Google searches for ‘vaccines near me’ have jumped 5x since the year start, indicating a need for relevant info on vaccines
NEW DELHI :
Search engine giant Google on Monday said it will provide $150 million to educate the masses on the benefits of a covid-19 vaccine, counter misinformation and ensure access to jabs for underserved communities.
While $100 million will be provided in advertisement grants to the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other non-profit institutions spearheading the global vaccination initiative, $50 million will be allocated for public health agencies offering vaccine-related content and information for the underprivileged.
In a blog post on 25 January, Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and Alphabet, said: “We’re providing more than $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution and making it easier to find locally relevant information, including when and where to get the vaccine. We’ll also be opening up Google spaces to serve as vaccination sites as needed."
Google assists over 100 government and global non-governmental agencies in running critical public service health programmes via its Ad Grants Crisis Relief programme.
To fight misinformation on vaccines, Pichai said, Google’s information panels on Search have been expanded to over 40 countries and dozens of languages. Support for more languages will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
Google will also start showing state and regional distribution information on Search so people can easily find out when they are eligible to get vaccines. Another initiative called “Get The Facts’’ for providing authoritative information about vaccines will be made available on Google and YouTube.
According to Pichai, Google searches for “vaccines near me" have increased 5x since the start of the year, indicating a need for locally relevant information on vaccines.
Pichai also highlighted how Google Cloud and their other technologies are being used by healthcare organizations, pharmacies, logistics companies and public sector institutions to deliver vaccines in a timely manner.
For instance, Google’s Intelligent Vaccine Impact Platform is being used by states of New York and North Carolina to manage distribution and forecast where vaccines, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital staff are required.
Last year, Google had allocated $250 million in ad grants to help WHO and more than 100 government agencies across the globe to provide accurate information to the public to prevent covid-19 from spreading.
Google also joined hands with Apple to build exposure notifications technology that enabled contact tracing apps created by public health agencies to alert people when they came in contact with someone infected with the virus.