Apple joins the slew of big tech companies displaying COVID-19 vaccination centers through VaccineFinder, a tool created by Boston Children's Hospital with CDC support. As of today, Apple users will be able to search Apple Maps or ask Siri about available vaccine locations.
Apple Maps will be able to display vaccine site locations, operating hours, phone numbers and links to register and make appointments. So far, the tech will list 20,000 locations but Apple plans on adding more sites in the next few weeks.
In addition to vaccination sites, Apple will continue to display COVID-19 testing locations in select countries including the U.S., Germany, Singapore, Australia and others. Users will also be able to tap into information about local businesses, including information for things like special shopping hours.
Like Facebook, Apple is releasing data trends from its maps feature.
WHY IT MATTERS
COVID-19 vaccinations are at full steam in the U.S. To date more than 72 million people in the country have had at least one dose of the vaccine, accounting for 21.7% of the population, and 39 million (11.8% of the population) have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
The coronavirus is still deeply impacting the country. Over the last seven days the CDC reported 379,674 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, more than 29 million cases have been reported.
THE LARGER TREND
On Monday, Facebook announced that it was connecting to VaccineFinder in order to help its users find the location of immunization centers.
Back in January, Google added a new feature to help users find COVID-19 vaccination sites. The tool, which was launched in Google maps and search, gave users details about the vaccination sites, and regarding whether or not they needed to book an appointment.
Apple has been involved in a variety of COVID-19 related projects. Notably, Apple teamed up with Google in order to create a contact-tracing tool.