Looking for your nearest COVID-19 Vaccination Center? Ask Alexa Now!

Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant that powers its Echo devices, has now been updated with the latest COVID-19 related features for Indian users. Alexa will now help users locate COVID-19 testing and vaccination centres, as well as the availability of vaccinations, among other details. Amazon says the information has been sourced from authentic sources, including the CoWIN portal, the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as well as MapmyIndia. Users will also be provided with the option to donate for COVID-19 welfare in India using Alexa commands. The feature related to COVID-19 was rolled out in the US in April.

With the help of New Delhi-based MapmyIndia, Amazon says Alexa can now locate the nearest COVID-19 test center and also tell the user’s distance from it. Users “Alexa where can I get a COVID-19 test?” (“Alexa where can I get a COVID-19 test?”) by asking questions. Amazon explained that Alexa recognizes a user’s location from their device registration and provides a list of vaccination centers near them. Users can use this information at the time of their visit to the CoWIN portal to book appointments.

By entering a PIN code and age in the Vaccine Info Alexa skill, users can employ Alexa to find vaccination centers for anyone. This feature can be useful if users want to check vaccine availability for their friends or family in a different geographic location. If the vaccine is not available at the time of the test, a reminder can also be set to check its availability at a later time.

In addition, Alexa can also be asked to provide updates on vaccine completion rates in India, as well as to clear doubts related to COVID-19 vaccination, such as the safety of the vaccine, the registration process, and how each state of COVID-19 helpline number.

Alexa will also give users the option to donate for COVID-19 welfare in India. Amazon has partnered with Indian NGOs like Akshaya Patra, Give India, and Goong. By saying “Alexa, donate now” (“Alexa, donate now”), the user will receive an app notification and an SMS with a link to donate to their favorite NGO.

In April this year, Amazon rolled out this feature exclusively in the US. Amazon says Alexa answered millions of questions related to COVID-19 last year. The company says Alexa can answer questions about vaccine availability and eligibility requirements for more than 85 countries.


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