Amazon said Friday that its Alexa voice assistant can now help people access information about COVID-19 vaccines and connect them to nearby vaccination centres. Additionally, Alexa will also answer questions about vaccine availability and eligibility requirements for more than 85 countries. All this will add on to its existing ability to find nearest COVID-19 testing locations.
Where can I get a COVID vaccine?
Amazon is rolling out “Where can I get a COVID vaccine?” ability for Alexa beginning with the US. People in the States can simply ask, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine?” or they can also choose to go granular with location, say, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine in Seattle?” to hear a list of locations closest to them. Amazon said, Alexa will also help people connect to a specific location directly to check on vaccine or appointment availability.
To be clear, this is limited to the US for now. Amazon is yet to bring this feature to India.
If you raise the same query in India, Alexa will collate a list of latest related news and read it out to you – at this point of time. With the government of India announcing phase 3 of the vaccination drive and opening the eligibility criteria to include all citizens aged 18 and above (starting May 1, registrations from April 28) amid steep spike in COVID-19 cases, there has been a growing demand for big tech to step up and do their bit.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
In the meantime, Alexa’s ability to help find nearest COVID-19 testing locations has been available in India for some time now. It can respond to “Alexa, where can I get tested for COVID-19?” query and read out or show a list of closest centres.
Not just Amazon, Google is also working to provide relevant COVID-19 information including updates on COVID-19 vaccine in Search.