Apple has added a new feature to Apple Maps that shows where you can get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The feature is powered by data from VaccineFinder, an online service developed by Boston Children’s Hospital that offers the latest vaccine availability information at providers and pharmacies throughout the U.S.
You can find nearby COVID-19 vaccination locations by tapping in the search bar in Apple Maps and then selecting COVID-19 Vaccines in the Find Nearby menu that appears. Alternatively, ask Siri, “Where can I get a COVID vaccination?”
“The Apple Maps place-card for each vaccine site will include the operating hours, address, phone numbers, and a link to the provider’s website, where Maps users can learn more about available vaccines and book appointments,” Apple said in a message announcing the new feature. The initial rollout includes data for more than 20,000 locations, with Apple planning to add more sites in the coming weeks.
The tech giant said that to boost the usefulness of the feature, healthcare providers, labs, and other businesses can also submit information on COVID-19 testing or vaccination locations through the Apple Business Register page. Once the submitted information has been validated, Apple will add relevant details about the testing or vaccination location to Apple Maps and other services that it operates.
The Cupertino, California-based company noted that the latest update follows others from the company aimed at helping iPhone and iPad owners access useful pandemic-related information.
These include information in Apple Maps on COVID-19 testing locations, which Apple added last year for customers in multiple countries. It also allows businesses to display COVID-19-related information for customers, such as special shopping hours. Siri has also been equipped with new smarts that enable it to respond to inquiries about things like outdoor dining options or nearby restaurants offering takeout. Siri Audio Briefs give users news and information updates related to the pandemic, and the digital assistant can also give useful guidance if asked, “How do I know if I have coronavirus?”
In a similar move, Facebook earlier this week added a tool to its COVID Information Center that shows details for vaccination locations, including when and where you can get it, and the ability to book an appointment. Facebook has also partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital for the data that powers the feature.