Google said today it is taking several steps to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the United States, including grants and opening its facilities to vaccination programs. The tech giant is among several other large corporations, including Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and Microsoft, that have pledged support to local government agencies and medical providers to help increase vaccinations.
In the announcement, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai said the company will pledge ad grants and funding worth a total of $150 million to health organizations and public health agencies to promote vaccine education. It will also provide support for vaccine distribution by making Google facilities available, including buildings and parking lots.
The company is partnering with One Medical and public health authorities to open vaccination sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, with more sites planned in the U.S. depending on vaccine availability. Its technology, including the Intelligent Vaccine Impact Platform, is being used to help with logistics planning for vaccine distribution.
In terms of funding, about $100 million will be part of Google’s Ad Grants Crisis Relief program, and go to nonprofits like the CDC Foundation and the World Health Organization. Another $50 million will be invested “in partnership with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information,” Pichai wrote. Google.org has committed about $5 million in grants to organizations focused on access to vaccines among people of color and in rural areas, including the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation.