NEW DELHI — The Indian Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya on Sept. 1 said that the Health Ministry has partnered with Google to enhance people’s access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The Ministry of Health has taken yet another significant initiative to enhance access to #Covid-19 vaccine: Search ‘covid vaccine near me’ on Google, Check availability of slots and more, Use’ Book Appointment’ feature to book a slot,” tweeted Mandaviya.
Mandaviya shared the official Google India blog link, where people can find detailed information on vaccination availability near them.
As per the blog, Google started showing Covid-19 vaccination centers in March 2021, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a priority within our communities, vaccines remain one of our biggest protections,” the blog said.
“Nationwide vaccination drives are in full swing, and as more people look to get vaccinated, their requirements for information continue to evolve: finding vaccine availability by location, specific information about vaccination services offered, and details on appointment availability are increasingly important; to know.”
Starting this week, for over 13,000 locations across the country, people will be able to get more helpful information about vaccine availability and appointments — powered by real-time data from the CoWIN APIs (application programming interfaces).
This includes information such as availability of appointment slots at each center, vaccines and doses offered (dose 1 or dose 2), expectations for pricing (paid or free), and the link to the CoWIN website for booking [Indian portal for registration of vaccines].
“As Covid-19 vaccines roll out globally, Google & Google Health continues to make it a priority to make it easier to find vaccine appts & availability,” said Arlene Chung, Consumer Health Lead & Physician Informatician, Google Health, in a tweet.
The above information will automatically show up when users search for vaccine centers near them or in any specific area — across Google Search, Maps, and Google Assistant.
Google India informed its followers about the development through a tweet.
In addition to English, users can also search in eight Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, and Marathi.
Google, in its blog, said it will continue to partner closely with the CoWIN team to extend this functionality to all vaccination centers across India.
India registered 42,092 Covid-19 new cases in the last 24 hours, and the daily positivity rate has been reported to be 2.80 percent. More than 8.1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari
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