Apple Maps is gaining a new feature today, as Apple adds the ability for users to quickly locate COVID-19 vaccination locations.
Apple on Tuesday officially announced the new ability to see COVID-19 vaccination locations within Apple Maps. The new feature is available in a couple of different ways, at least to see results. The first is to search within Apple Maps itself, and users can also ask Siri to show results as well. In each case, COVID-19 vaccination locations showing operating hours and links to show important information.
The information is coming from VaccineFinder, which is developed by Boston Children’s Hospital. It’s a free service which provides relevant info, including latest vaccine availability. The information is available only in the United States.
From today’s announcement:
The Apple Maps placecard 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. The initial rollout includes more than 20,000 locations, with Apple adding more sites in the coming weeks.
From the announcement, the major bullet points that Apple also included:
- 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?”
The new resource is available now in Apple Maps for users in the U.S.