After the fear and confusion of the lockdown year, 2021 had brought a new hope in the form of vaccines. As countries slowly unlocked, people began to step out of their houses with precautions. Though the fear reduced, the vaccine only brought on new confusions. Is the vaccine safe? When will it be available to the general public? Is it effective? And many more. Google has now stepped in and has shown solidarity with the Indian government to provide solid facts and information about the vaccine.
In a blog posted by Google’s India team yesterday, Google has said that as India enters the second phase of vaccination, and the government tries to figure out the statistics, Google has and will take steps to “provide timely, accurate, and science-based information about the vaccine to the public”. Google has been collaborating with the Indian Ministry of Health and Family for some time now, and in addition to providing information to people about the vaccine in special tabs sourced from the ministry, it has also been helping them to build their own website and optimize it for smartphone users.
Google has also been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates and the Rapid Risk Response to have science as the base for all their info, as well as to help weed out fake news on the same and counter it with the real facts. Since the vaccination has started, Google has indeed been proactively rolling out information about both the vaccines, their side effects, distribution etc. in 7 vernacular languages as well as in English and Hindi. They have also been active on the video-sharing platform, YouTube, posting FAQ videos, uploading banners that redirect to the ministry website, and providing information panels that popup when users look for vaccine-related videos.
The firm has also been providing Google Trends to the government regarding the people’s interest in the vaccine and other logistics. Now Google is also working with the ministry and the above mentioned organizations to provide accurate information regarding the vaccination centers and their location both on Google Search and Maps, which is expected to be released this week, as India tries to conduct the biggest vaccination drive in the world.