Google on Tuesday announced a new Maps feature to help make it easier to determine the availability of flu vaccine.
According to the company, users can now visit Google's new flu shot Google Maps page to find out if there is any vaccine available in their area. It partnered with "the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, their Flu.gov collaborators, and the American Lung Association on the flu shot finder," the company wrote in a blog post.
On the flu shot page, users can input their Zip code or town and find all the vaccine available in their area. The tool will also be made available on the U.S. government's flu page, as well as the American Lung Association's site.
As useful as it might sound, Google was quick to point out in the blog post that so far, the company has yet to receive information on flu shots from many locations. It should also be noted that depending on where the user searches, he or she might find several clinics that are out of flu shots. Google said that although some of the service might not feature actionable content now, it felt the time was right to "help disseminate information about locations where vaccines are available, and also to make more vaccine providers aware of the project so that they can contribute."
Google is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control, state and local health agencies, and other organization to add more vaccination locations to its maps. So far, it has received "data for locations of flu vaccine directly from 20 states and counting." To expand its coverage, Google is also working with chain pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS to add more vaccination-availability information for all 50 states.
For now, you can try out Google's flu shot page to see if there is any seasonal flu or swine flu vaccine available in your area. Expect the page to feature much more content going forward.