Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Google details its state-based vaccine management efforts

The cloud giant is one of several technology companies offering tools for vaccine management and distribution -- a critical but quickly changing market for enterprise software.

What are digital vaccine passports, and when will we get them?

Vaccine management and distribution is a critical but quickly changing market for enterprise software. Several major vendors have rolled out tools for the public and private sector, helping organizations hasten their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Back in February, Google Cloud rolled out the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution for local and regional governments, providing a range of technologies and tools to facilitate vaccination efforts. On Monday, it shared some information on states using its tools and how those efforts are going: 

Oregon, North Carolina: Vaccine eligibility

While vaccination efforts are ramping up, states are still prioritizing certain residents. For the millions still waiting for their shots, Google has helped some states set up websites and notification tools to track who's eligible. 

In North Carolina, Google Cloud worked with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to set up the Find My Vaccine Group site to help residents determine which eligibility group they're in. The Find a Vaccine Location site uses Google Maps Platform APIs to help residents find vaccine provider locations. So far, more than 2 million North Carolinians have use both sites.

The Oregon Health Authority worked with Google Cloud and the data analytics firm Spring ML to build  Get Vaccinated Oregon, a vaccine eligibility screening and scheduling tool. Residents fill out their profile and receive a push notification when their eligibility status changes. They can also get notifications about local mass vaccination events. To date, more than 400,000 Oregonians have registered. 

Virginia, Massachusetts: Pre-registration

In February, the Virginia Department of Health worked with Google and Spring ML to build a new vaccine pre-registration platform and import data already collected by local government bodies. More than 400,000 people were in the state's system one week after its launch. By the end of February, the state had more than 1.9 million records in the new system.

Massachusetts launched its pre-registration site this month and saw more than 400,000 citizens pre-registered on the first day, with as many as 19 pre-registrations happening per second. 

Arizona: Managing vaccine distribution

Arizona's Department of Health Services started working with Google Cloud and its partner MTX in December to build an end-to-end vaccine management distribution system. They built a vaccination scheduling tool, as well as a dashboard to help counties and tribes across the state manage the vaccine administration process. Public health entities can use predictive analytics to forecast the trajectory of the virus, as well as other potential infectious disease outbreaks. 

Meanwhile, Google is also pitching its cloud tools to private entities involved in vaccine administration. Both Albertsons and Walmart are using Google's Business Messages tool to share information with customers about vaccine administration. The tool provides a conversational messaging service that allows organizations to connect with people via Google Search, Google Maps, or their own business channels. 

For instance, if someone searches on Google for Safeway -- an Albertsons company that's administering vaccines -- they can use the "message" button on Google Search to receive information like vaccine availability and how to book an appointment.