SAN ANTONIO – Google will soon enable a tool to make it easier for Texans to find a COVID-19 vaccination site.
CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced Google Search and Maps will roll out the vaccine finder “in the coming weeks” for Texas, as well as Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi for starters.
The tool will also list if an appointment or referral is required, if the vaccine is limited to certain groups, and if a drive-through is available.
It will use information from government agencies, pharmacies and VaccineFinder.org, Pichai said in the announcement. It will be available in other states and countries at a later time.
Google decided to add the tool as searches for “vaccines near me” increased five times since 2021 began, he said.
Even as about 18 million people, or less than 6% of the U.S. population, have received their first dose of the vaccine, the rollout has been marked with confusion.
In Texas, the vaccine is available for groups in Phase 1A — frontline healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities — and in Phase 1B — people who are 65 or older and people with chronic medical conditions.
The vaccine hub providers in Bexar County are the San Antonio Metro Health District, University Health and UT Health San Antonio Wellness 360, according to the state health department.
This week, the city will receive about 9,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, University Health will receive about 10,725 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and Wellness 360 will receive about 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. These are all first doses.
The state health department did not list where those first doses will be distributed.
The four current COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites in San Antonio include the Alamodome, the WellMed Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center, the Alicia Treviño López Senior Community Center, and University Health at Wonderland of the Americas.
You can see an interactive map of COVID-19 vaccines available in Texas here.