Google earlier this year announced an update to Google Maps to help people find COVID-19 vaccination sites nearby, and now Apple is doing the same. Apple device owners can either ask Siri or search within Apple Maps to find nearby COVID-19 vaccine providers within the U.S., the company says. These results will include key information, like operating hours, addresses, phone numbers and links to the provider’s website.
To access this information through a voice command, users can ask Siri something like “where can I get a COVID vaccination?,” which will direct them to Maps.
In addition to Siri or searching directly within Apple Maps for vaccine info, the option “COVID-19 vaccinations” will also be available in Apple Maps’ “Find Nearby” menu.
Apple says its vaccination location data is being sourced from VaccineFinder, an initiative led by Boston Children’s Hospital. This data has also been helping to power Google Maps’ vaccine-finding capabilities, Google earlier said. Apple notes that healthcare providers, labs and other businesses can also choose to submit their information about either COVID-19 testing or vaccination locations via the Apple Business Register page. After doing so, Apple will validate the information and then display it to users who are searching for COVID-19 resources in their local area.
At launch, there’s information about more than 20,000 vaccine locations being provided through Apple Maps. Apple says more sites will be added in the weeks to come.
Throughout the pandemic, Apple has integrated other COVID-related health resources into Apple Maps both in the U.S. and internationally. Last year, for example, it updated Apple Maps to display COVID-19 testing sites in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S. It also added COVID-19 modules to business pages, and updated Siri with more knowledge about COVID-19, testing sites and, now, vaccination locations.
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