Google goes international with vaccine-finding feature

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Google on Thursday went international with tools designed to help people find COVID-19 vaccination locations, as the US internet titan ramps up efforts to fight the pandemic.

The internet titan also plans to launch a cloud-based "virtual agent" that people can use to schedule vaccination appointments or get information on the topic in some 28 languages using chat, text messages, or phone calls.

Google said it will provide 250,000 vaccine doses to "countries in need" along with adding the ability for people to find sites for the jab in Canada, Chile, France, India, Singapore and the United States.

"As we've learned throughout the pandemic, no one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe," Google said.

"Getting vaccines to everyone around the world is a challenging, but necessary, undertaking."

Google is among an array of tech companies including Amazon and Uber that have stepped up with resources or efforts to help get people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Along with providing a total of 250,000 COVID-19 to countries in need, Google is funding "pop-up" sites for the jab in the United States, and committing an additional $250 million in ad credit to spreading vaccine information.

"There's a lot of work ahead to make sure everyone who wants to get vaccinated can," Google said in a blog post.

"Globally, it could be years before some countries even have enough vaccines."

© 2021 AFP

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