KEY POINTS

  • Apple updated the Apple Maps to allow users to search for nearby COVID-19 vaccination sites
  • VaccineFinder provided information for each site, which will be displayed on Apple Maps
  • The initial rollout will be 20,000 sites, but this is expected to increase in the coming weeks

Apple announced Tuesday its latest effort to help with the pandemic: making it easier for people to find COVID-19 vaccination locations. It has added vaccine sites from VaccineFinder, a free online service developed by Boston Children's Hospital, to Apple Maps.

The company said in a blog post that Apple Maps users can find nearby vaccination locations from the search bar by selecting "COVID-19 Vaccines" in the "Find Nearby" menu. Users can also opt to ask Siri, "Where can I get a COVID vaccination?"

Apple Maps will provide a detailed place card for each vaccine site. This includes the operating hours, address, phone numbers and a link to the provider's website, where users can browse through other available vaccines and book appointments.

Data from VaccineFinder, which works with "clinics, pharmacies, and health departments to provide accurate and up-to-date information about vaccination services," was used for the new update, per Apple.

"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," Apple stated in the blog post.

"Once validated, Apple may display information about the testing or vaccination locations to people using Apple services such as Apple Maps," the company wrote.

The initial rollout will include about 20,000 locations across the country, according to Apple. But users can expect more sites to be added in the coming weeks.

Through the latest update, Apple aims to help its users better navigate the pandemic by taking the proper steps to protect their health. Aside from providing information about various vaccination sites, Apple Maps also features the following:

COVID-19 testing locations 

The app shows testing sites in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

Local business updates

The app also shows COVID-19 modules on the business place cards for more than 4,400 locations. This lets retailers inform customers about any COVID-19-related information they need to know.

Siri knowledge about COVID-19

The company has equipped Siri with the ability to help users receive the latest news and information about the pandemic through short podcasts from trusted news providers. Siri can also provide guidance and resources from the CDC if asked, “How do I know if I have coronavirus?”

Apple Maps Apple is collecting new mapping data for its Apple Maps app. Photo: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan