A few weeks ago, Google announced that users will soon be able to locate vaccination sites on Google Maps, starting with the Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas region. Now, Apple has announced a similar convenience for its own mapping and navigation service – Apple Maps. Users can now directly ask Siri, or search for vaccination sites within Apple Maps. To bring the feature to life, Apple has partnered with Vaccine Finder, a free service that helps people – who are eligible for a jab – check vaccine availability at a pharmacy or health facility.
Users can find nearby COVID-19 vaccination locations from the Search bar in Apple Maps by selecting COVID-19 Vaccines in the Find Nearby menu or by asking Siri, “Where can I get a COVID vaccination?”
In addition to finding vaccination spots, users will be able to see other important information such as operating hours, address, contact details, and a link to the official website of the vaccination service provider. All the aforementioned details will be readily accessible from the Apple Maps placecard for each vaccination site.
The company says that in the initial phase of rollout, Apple Maps will cover over 20,000 vaccination sites, with plans to add more in the weeks to come. While Apple is relying on Vaccine Finder’s database to show locations where you can access the COVID-19 vaccine, the company is allowing healthcare service providers, labs, and concerned businesses to submit information about vaccination sites as well as testing spots using the Apple Business Register page. And after due verification, they will be added to Apple Maps as well.
Apple Maps already shows COVID-19 testing locations in countries across multiple continents, details such as working hours for businesses, places that allow takeout facility, and more. Plus, users can also listen to the latest information and news about the ongoing pandemic from reliable sources in the form of short podcasts called Siri Audio briefs.