Google’s Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the tech giant will open up its spaces in the US to serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination sites and committed more than USD 150 million to promote vaccine education. It’s going to make some Google facilities — buildings, parking lots, and open spaces — available as vaccination clinics, with plans to open sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kirkland, Washington, and New York City first, and expand nationally as vaccines become more widely available.
“Today we’re announcing that we’ll be opening up Google spaces to serve as mass vaccination sites, committing more than $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,090 crores) to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution, and making it easier for you to find where and when to get a vaccine,” Pichai announced in a blog post on Monday.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has today also revealed that Google is adding Covid vaccine location information to both Maps and Search, to help people find more information on where and when they can get a job. Google has previously said all staff will be working from home until at least July as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving their vast office spaces standing idle.
Google noted that early data shows people of colour and people in rural communities have less access to vaccines than other groups. To that end, it also committed $5 million to “organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations,” Pichai said.
Another tech giant, Amazon, opened a pop-up clinic in Seattle hoping to vaccinate 2,000 people. In a letter to the new Biden administration, it also pledged its facilities to inoculate its 800,000 strong workforce — though not other members of the public (to date it has yet to receive a reply). Microsoft has also said that it would open up an empty building on its campus to vaccinations.