Google Maps, Search and Assistant to display vaccine availability information

Google Maps, Search and Assistant to display vaccine availability information

Google is adding new features to some of its services to aid India’s vaccination drive. Starting later this week, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Search will include detailed information on COVID-vaccination centres near users. The feature will be powered by implementing APIs from India’s CoWIN portal to provide real-time information on vaccine availability and appointments.

Google adds that the vaccination help will be available in over 13,000 locations across the country. Information that will be provided will include the availability of appointment slots at each center, whether the center is offering Dose 1 or Dose 2 of the corresponding vaccines (Covishield, Covaxin or others), and any information on pricing if applicable.

Note that users will still need to head to the CoWIN web portal to book an appointment. However, Google will provide a quick link on Maps and other services that will let users get to the portal quickly.

“As people continue to seek information related to the pandemic to manage their lives around it, we remain committed to finding and sharing authoritative and timely information across our platforms,” Hema Budaraju, Director, Google Search said.

For those who do not use Google Maps, the same information will be also available on the Google Search app and via Google Assistant and will show up every time one searches for terms related to Covid or vaccines.

Google has also brought all the vaccine-related info in multiple regional languages. In addition to English, users will also be able to get vaccination help in eight Indian languages. This includes Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, and Marathi.