From the first moment in which the current coronavirus pandemic in which we have been immersed for more than a year broke out, technological giants such as Google have done their bit in the fight against the pandemic. This is how, from the beginning, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, indicated that the search engine was working very hard to eliminate dangerous or misleading information about the coronavirus from its results.
In turn, on sites like YouTube, the company also decided to delete thousands of videos related to this type of information. And to this day, they continue to remove videos promoting, for example, medically unproven methods to prevent or treat COVID-19, rather than seeking medical treatment.
In fact, in December the company decided to implement new strategies to deal with misinformation. And, for example, UK users can use a new search feature on the platform to search for information on the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as which vaccines have been licensed in their area.
We recently learned that Google has developed a tool whose main purpose is to help people find COVID-19 vaccination areas , in an attempt to intensify its efforts to combat the pandemic.
While we learned a few weeks ago that the internet titan was going to deliver 250,000 doses of vaccines to “countries in need,” it is also planning the launch of a cloud-based “virtual agent” that users can use to schedule appointments for vaccination or obtain information about it in 28 languages through phone calls, chat or text messages.
Thus, in the coming weeks, users will be able to access Google search and maps to find COVID-19 vaccination locations. At the moment, the program is already starting in the United States, mainly in Arizona, Mississippi, Texas or Louisiana. And the service will provide users with details about the site, including referral information or the ability to request appointments.
Why is it an important tool?
We must bear in mind that the distribution of vaccines in the United States is still in the early stages. According to statistics published by the CDC, so far just over 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed, and 21.8 million doses have been administered (about 18.5 million people have received a doses, and 3.2 million have already received both doses).
Therefore, it is true that there is still a long way to go, especially when we consider that the American population comprises more than 328 million citizens.