Google opens up its US office facilities as Covid-19 vaccine clinics

Google is offering some of its US offices, as well as its car parks and open spaces, as vaccination centres, it has announced. 

The tech giant has contributed to combating Covid-19 in various ways throughout the pandemic, including working with Apple to create the blueprint for dozens of contact-tracing apps worldwide. 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has today also revealed that Google is adding Covid vaccine location information to both Maps and Search, to help people find more information on where and when they can get a jab.

Google has previously said all staff will be working from home until at least July as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving their vast office spaces standing idle. 

The US, which has supplies of both the Moderna and Pfizer jabs, has so far vaccinated six per cent of its population, around 20.5million doses, with 1.6 million administered on Friday— already exceeding President Joe Biden’s conservative pledge of one million doses a day.  

The number of cases of coronavirus infection in the US appears to be dropping, with 142,949 confirmed cases on Sunday, down from 173,729 the day before.   

Over the last seven days the average number of daily deaths is in excess of 3,000. 

On Sunday the nation surpassed the grim milestone of more than 25million COVID infections and more than 417,900 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

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Google is offering some of its US offices, as well as its car parks and open spaces, as vaccination centres, it has announced. Pictured, its New York office

Google is offering some of its US offices, as well as its car parks and open spaces, as vaccination centres, it has announced. Pictured, its New York office

Google is offering some of its US offices, as well as its car parks and open spaces, as vaccination centres, it has announced. Pictured, its New York office 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has today also revealed various Google is adding Covid vaccine location information to both Maps and Search to allow people to find more information on where and when they can get a jab (pictured)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has today also revealed various Google is adding Covid vaccine location information to both Maps and Search to allow people to find more information on where and when they can get a jab (pictured)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has today also revealed various Google is adding Covid vaccine location information to both Maps and Search to allow people to find more information on where and when they can get a jab (pictured) 

America’s rollout of the vaccine comes as cases of the so-called supercovid, known scientifically as variant B.1.1.7, which emerged in England, soar in the US. 

A scientific study revealed the strain, which is thought to be around 50 per cent more infectious than previous variants, arrived in the US in November

It has now infected at least 146 people in the US, with 46 people infected with it in Florida alone.

CDC Director: ‘We don’t have enough vaccine doses as we’d like’ 

The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted Sunday that the US doesn’t have enough COVID-19 vaccines to meet states’ needs, even as New York and Georgia desperately plead for more doses to inoculate their populations.  

‘We don’t have as many doses as we would like now for states like New York, for other states claiming to have run out of the vaccine,’ Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Fox News Sunday.  

‘Right now, that is the pressure point that I am feeling and by the end of March or so I really do hope our production scale has scaled up dramatically and that we actually have way more than we have right now,’ she added.

Her message comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said over the weekend New York was running out of vaccines and as Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp also asked for more shots to keep up with the demand.   

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Google’s four main offices in the US — in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Kirkland, Washington and New York City — will be the company’s sites turned into vaccine hubs in collaboration with healthcare provider One Medical. 

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, also said in a blog post: ‘Today we’re announcing that we’re providing more than $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution and making it easier to find locally relevant information, including when and where to get the vaccine. 

‘We’ll also be opening up Google spaces to serve as vaccination sites as needed.’

He explained that searches for ‘vaccines near me’ increased fivefold since the start of 2021 and adds ‘we want to make sure we’re providing locally relevant answers’.

As a result the tech giant is adding Covid-19 vaccine locations to both its traditional Search feature as well as Maps. 

‘We’ll include details like whether an appointment or referral is required, if access is limited to specific groups, or if it has a drive-through,’ Mr Pichai adds 

Google will start immediately showing vaccine hub locations in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and Mr Pichai says it will expand this feature to ‘more states and countries to come’.

‘We’ll begin showing state and regional distribution information on Search so people can easily find when they are eligible to receive a vaccine,’ he says.  

The US has vaccinated around six per cent of its population against Covid-19 (pictured), trailing behind the UK, which has reached more than one in ten. Israel has vaccinated more people per capita than anywhere else in the world, as it approaches immunity for half its population 

The US, which has supplies of both the Moderna and Pfizer jabs, has so far vaccinated around 20.5million people, with 1.6 million doses administered on Friday alone — already far in excess of President Joe Biden’s conservative one million a day pledge.

Google chief Sunda Pichai has also announced a $150 million commitment to promote vaccine education and equitable access to the lifesaving jabs. Pictured, Google's San Francisco office

Google chief Sunda Pichai has also announced a $150 million commitment to promote vaccine education and equitable access to the lifesaving jabs. Pictured, Google's San Francisco office

Google chief Sunda Pichai has also announced a $150 million commitment to promote vaccine education and equitable access to the lifesaving jabs. Pictured, Google’s San Francisco office 

Google will start immediately showing vaccine hub locations in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and Mr Pichai says it will expand this feature to 'more states and countries to come'. Pictured, Google's office in Washington which will be tuned into a vaccine centre

Google will start immediately showing vaccine hub locations in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and Mr Pichai says it will expand this feature to 'more states and countries to come'. Pictured, Google's office in Washington which will be tuned into a vaccine centre

Google will start immediately showing vaccine hub locations in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and Mr Pichai says it will expand this feature to ‘more states and countries to come’. Pictured, Google’s office in Washington which will be tuned into a vaccine centre 

Apple donated more than 40 MILLION face masks and shields to healthcare workers during the pandemic 

Tech behemoth Apple has donated more than 30 million face masks and 10 million face shields to healthcare workers around the world during the pandemic, MailOnline understands.

Exact breakdowns of where the PPE has been distributed remains unknown but it is believed frontline workers globally received items throughout 2020.

The endeavour started in March and CEO Tim Cook announced on April 5 that Apple’s vast resources and expertise would be repurposed to churn out one million masks a week. This target, set 36 weeks ago, has been exceeded by the company.

Apple has also donated $5 million to various coronavirus-related causes this festive period, it revealed in December.

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The Google chief also announced a $150 million commitment to promote vaccine education and equitable access to the lifesaving jabs. 

More than $100million is to be committed to ad grants for the CDC, WHO and other organisations to help get out key public health messages. 

Google is also pledging $50million to public health agencies specifically with the intention of reaching ‘underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information’.

‘Our efforts will focus heavily on equitable access to vaccines,’ Mr Pichai said. 

‘Early data in the U.S. shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of color and those in rural communities, aren’t getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups. 

‘To help, Google.org has committed $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations.’

Google is not the only tech company to commit to trying to help with the Covid-19 relief effort, with Amazon and Apple among the companies also dedicating resources, expertise and funds.  

Amazon last week said it was opening its own spaces for vaccinations while sourcing jabs for its own staff, including workers at warehouses, data centre employees and staff at Whole Foods, which is also owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. 

Microsoft, founded by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates who helped fund some vaccines, also said it will open up its Redmond campus for vaccinations.

Apple, which worked with Google on building the contact tracing API, has also kept to its pledge of donating more than a million pieces of PPE to healthcare workers every week of the pandemic.

Link hienalouca.com

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