Apple has recently launched an update on its maps that allow users to ask Siri or search within Apple Maps to find nearby Covid-19 vaccine providers and sites within the US. These results will include key information, like operating hours, addresses, phone numbers and links to the provider’s website.
Apple’s announcement is coming a few months after Google announced the exact same update earlier this year.
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 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 over 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.