Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces $150 million investment as Covid-related public health aid

Published : January 25, 2021 15:39 IST

Google's headquarters in Mountain View (California), a file photograph. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

With vaccination efforts rolling out across the globe, Google’s CEO acknowledged that it is now time to ensure that more and more people can benefit from the same. Sundar Pichai, in a blog, announced the tech behemoth’s investment plans to help public health authorities in the process.

“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.” Pichai wrote.  

The breakup of the newly-announced fund is: ‘$100 million in ad[vertisement] grants for the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organisation, and non-profits around the globe’ and ‘another $50 million in partnership with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information.’ The CDC is a US Congress-established statutory authority to mobilise private philanthropic efforts for health care needs.

The blog post also informed readers of Google’s steps on the tech side. The search engine will begin showing State and regional distribution information for vaccines. Alongside placing Covid vaccine centres on maps, the company will “include details like whether an appointment or referral is required, if access is limited to specific groups, or if it has a drive-through.”

It will also make available select Google facilities like buildings, parking lots and open spaces available as vaccination sites. It shared insights on how Google Cloud is helping ‘health care organisations, retail pharmacies, logistics companies, and public sector institutions’ in speeding up vaccine delivery. It gave the example of logistics companies using Artificial Intelligence to optimise trucking operations through digitally navigating different weather and traffic conditions.

Pichai ended the post saying “We can’t slow down now. Getting vaccines to billions of people won’t be easy, but it’s one of the most important problems we’ll solve in our lifetimes. Google will continue to support in whatever way we can.”

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