In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the steps the company would take to expand the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The company will provide more than $ 150 million in grants to promote vaccine education, primarily through advertising grants to the World Health Organization, the CDC Foundation, and global nonprofits. Google will also begin providing location data to local vaccination sites and take steps to combat vaccine misinformation.
This comes days after a group of Democratic senators, including Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Wrote to Pichai, calling on the company and its subsidiary YouTune to crack down on vaccine misinformation.
Approximately $ 50 million of the funds will be used to help public health agencies reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information. A recent study by COVID Collaborative, the NAACP, and UnidosUS found that only 14% of black Americans and 34% of Latin Americans trust a vaccine to be safe.
Google said it focused on expanding the distribution of the vaccine to the underserved community, as early data show that rural and color communities do not have access to the vaccine at the same rate as other groups.
In an effort to combat misinformation, Google is also committed to launching a “Get The Facts” initiative on Google and YouTube, in an effort to highlight authorized information about vaccines. Google will also show state and regional vaccine distribution information that should give users an idea of when they might receive a vaccine.
Google Maps will also begin to include vaccination locations, initially in Texas, Arizona, Mississippi and Louisiana. The search engine will also index whether certain sites require referrals or citations, as well as other accessibility information.
Google will work with medical providers, including medical and public health authorities, to open more vaccination sites on company properties, most of which are unused after the company relocates most of its workforce remotely.
Google sites will be used to vaccinate in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Washington, with plans to expand those efforts nationwide.