Despite divisive politics, conspiracy theories and a botched introduction of the US to the USAmericans are hungry for information on vaccines, new data from Google shows.
Last month, “where to get a covid vaccine” was the most googled question in the US, the search giant told CBS MoneyWatch. Pennsylvania was the top state looking for “where to get a covid vaccine”, followed by Delaware and Washington. The term “Covid vaccine near me” was searched three times more often than testing-related questions.
Google, which accounts for more than 90% of Internet searches in the US, has aggregated and analyzed a broad sample of search data across all 50 states and analyzed geographic patterns. The company discovered the demand for authoritative vaccination information, including a keen interest in where to get the vaccine, how it works, and whether it is safe.
In West Virginia, a state recognized for its effective vaccine adoption, the most popular virus-related searches are “Is the Covid Vaccine Safe” and “Covid Vaccine Side Effects”. As vaccination spread in the US in February, searches for the term “arm pain,” a side effect of the vaccine, increased.
Google extracted vaccination and test search data primarily to help public health officials, the company said.
“We work with the CDC. [the World Health Organization] and government agencies, “said Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison officer for the search.” Our work in the US is a model for the world as a whole. We are able to display information … to give you, for example, test or vaccination locations, information on side effects and symptoms. “
According to anonymous search data from each state, these are the top 10 most searched questions about COVID-19 vaccines:
- Where can you get a covid vaccine?
- When can I get the Covid vaccine?
- Is the Covid Vaccine Safe?
- How long does the Covid vaccine last?
- Which vaccine is better?
- How do I register for the Covid vaccine?
- Is the Covid vaccine approved by the FDA?
- What does the Covid vaccine contain?
- How effective is the Covid vaccine?
- How does the Covid vaccine work?
Safety is a key concern for most Americans. Last month the phrase “Is the Covid vaccine safe for …” was searched along with the following keywords:
- Pregnant woman
- Old people
The COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t been extensively tested in children, but according to Dr. Bob Lahita, chairman of medicine at St. Joseph University Hospital, says the Pfizer vaccine is “extremely safe”.
Vaccine search data also suggests that Americans are still concerned about possible side effects of the vaccine:
- The search for “Covid Vaccine Side Effects” peaked in early February and remained high.
- New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Arizona are the top states looking for information about vaccine side effects.
- For the past four weeks, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Hampshire have been the top states looking for “Covid Vaccine Side Effects”.
People are also concerned about how the vaccine might interact with prescription drugs. These are the top keywords that appear next to searching for “vaccine”:
- Aleve pill
- Ibuprofen and Covid vaccines
- Advil liquid gel caps
Sullivan is optimistic about the recent shift in interest in vaccinations. “There is some level of hope just because people are looking for the vaccine,” he said.