Google is raising the bar among its peers in terms of social responsibility as it unveiled plans to convert some of its offices into COVID-19 vaccination sites.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of the tech giant, revealed that the company is currently working with One Medical, a health care provider, in its plans to set up COVID-19 vaccination sites right within the buildings of Google. Other areas that they are looking at include open spaces and parking lots.
In a blog post Monday, Pichai stated that they will be providing more than $150 million to be used to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution. This will make it easier for individuals to find relevant information in their areas. This will include vital info such as where to get the vaccine and when they will be getting it. This was in addition to the plan to open up spaces that could serve as vaccination sites.
In the same blog post, Pichai narrated how the company has helped in the global efforts to curb coronavirus cases. The company has assisted more than 100 government entities as well as non-governmental organisations through their Ad Grants Crisis Relief Program.
The $150 million that the company will be providing will be divided into two parts. It will be allocating an additional $100 million in ad grants to the World Health Organization (WHO) and to the CDC Foundation. The $50 million would be "in partnership with public health agencies" so that communities that are underserved will be reached.
To further make it easier for people to find vaccines, the search engine giant is planning to add a feature that could help the average Google user. The company will be showing invaluable information on regional and state distribution of vaccines, New York Post reported. It will also display locations of vaccine sites in both Google maps and in search engines. The information panels will be available to more than 40 countries and also in many languages.
Pichai noted that at the beginning of the year, the search string "vaccines near me" has seen an increase of up to 5x. He noted that the company wants to ensure that it will provide relevant answers to people.
Among the first areas where the vaccination locations will be available on maps and search engines would include Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. More states will be added as the project continues.