As of March 16th, Apple Maps has been updated to show Covid-19 vaccination locations from VaccineFinder, a free, online service developed by Boston Children’s Hospital that provides the latest vaccine availability for those eligible at providers and pharmacies throughout the US. Users can find nearby the 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?”
Each pin showing a vaccination site will include the site’s hours, address, phone numbers, and a link to their website where individuals can find information on how to make an appointment. The initial rollout includes more than 20,000 locations, with Apple adding more sites in the coming weeks.
Along with the data provided by VaccineFinder, healthcare providers, labs, or other businesses can submit information on COVID-19 testing or vaccination locations on the Apple Business Register page. Once validated, Apple may display information about the testing or vaccination locations to people using Apple services such as Apple Maps.
According to Travel + Leisure, in April of 2020 Apple announced that it was collaborating with Google to develop a contact-tracing platform that would notify users if they’ve been in close proximity of someone who had been infected. In February of this year, the company announced that its designers and engineers were working on an update that would make it easier for users to unlock their phones while wearing a face mask.
This is the latest effort from Apple to help users better navigate the pandemic and take the proper steps to protect their health. Additional features include:
- Covid-19 testing locations: Last year, Apple 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 United States.
- Local business updates: Apple Maps now displays Covid-19 modules on the business placecards for more than 4,400 locations, allowing retailers to communicate Covid-19-related information to their customers, like special shopping hours.
- Siri knowledge about Covid-19: In addition to helping users find nearby testing sites and vaccination locations, Siri can quickly identify outdoor dining options or provide a list of nearby restaurants offering takeout. Siri Audio Briefs help users receive the latest news and information about the pandemic through short podcasts from trusted news providers, and Siri can also provide guidance and resources from the CDC if asked, “How do I know if I have coronavirus?”
Additionally, Apple released a mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps to support the impactful work happening worldwide to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This mobility data may provide helpful insights to local governments and health authorities, and may also be used as a foundation for new public policies by showing the change in volume of people driving, walking, or taking public transit in their communities.