Read this post in Spanish. // Blog en español aquí.
As more people have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re making it easier to learn why, when and where you can get immunized. Today, you can now find vaccination locations on Google Maps and Search in the U.S., Canada, France, Chile, India and Singapore.
Still, there’s a lot of work ahead to make sure everyone who wants to get vaccinated can. In the U.S., COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black and Latino populations, yet these groups have lower rates of vaccinations. Vaccines may be harder for people to access based on factors like where they live, how far they have to drive to a vaccination site, and if they have reliable internet access to book an appointment. And globally, it could be years before some countries even have enough vaccines.
Overcoming the pandemic will require a coordinated effort on a global scale. To do our part, today we’re announcing that we’re providing 250,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to countries in need, helping fund pop-up vaccine sites in the U.S., and committing an additional $250 million in Ad Grants to connect people to accurate vaccine information.
Today, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, launched a drive for additional funding to secure vaccines for low and middle-income countries. Google.org is funding vaccinations for 250,000 people and providing Gavi with pro bono technical assistance to accelerate global distribution. We’re also kicking off an employee giving campaign, and both the Gavi Matching Fund and Google.org will match each donation to triple the impact.
Since February, we’ve been providing vaccine-related insights to help Gavi better educate communities about the COVID-19 vaccine. They’ve used that information to create educational content that reaches more than half a million people each day. We’re now committing $15 million in Ad Grants to help Gavi build on these efforts and amplify their fundraising campaign.
Nearly a quarter of people in the U.S. are now vaccinated. Yet we know that vaccination rates vary by geography and community. Reaching everyone will require partnerships with community-based organizations and local health centers that have on-the-ground expertise and the trust of the people they serve.
Google.org is providing $2.5 million in grant funding to Partners in Health, Stop the Spread and Team Rubicon, who are working directly with over 500 community-based organizations to serve Black, Latino and rural communities. This funding will go toward efforts like pop-up vaccination sites.
To make sure more people — especially those with limited internet access — can sign up for a vaccine, Google Cloud is launching an expanded virtual agent as part of its Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution (IVIs). People will be able to schedule vaccine appointments and ask common questions through a virtual agent, in up to 28 languages and dialects, via chat, text, web, mobile or over the phone.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, hundreds of Google employees have helped organizations connect people with up-to-date information — particularly in communities that are not typically reached by mainstream public service announcements.
For example, we’re working with UnidosUS on a bilingual vaccination campaign that to date has reached more than two million people in hard-hit communities in Miami, Chicago, Houston, New York City and Los Angeles. We’ve conducted research with the World Health Organization (WHO) on what information improves vaccine confidence, and governments worldwide are using these insights to inform their public service announcements.
To expand this work, we’re committing an additional $250 million in Ad Grants to governments, community and public health organizations, including the WHO, that will fund more than 2.5 billion vaccine-related PSAs. This brings our total commitment for COVID-related public service announcements to more than $800 million.
As we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, no one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe. Getting vaccines to everyone around the world is a challenging, but necessary, undertaking. We’ll keep doing our part and working together until we get there.
Tune in to YouTube on May 8 at 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST for Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, a fundraising campaign to vaccinate health workers working on the frontlines of the pandemic.