Facebook launches vaccine finder tool, other features for vaccine awareness

vaccine finder tool

Facebook announced Monday plans to assist in informing the public about COVID-19 vaccine options, vaccinations sites, and related information, using a vaccine finder tool and other features.

“We’re launching a global campaign to help bring 50 million people a step closer to getting COVID-19 vaccines,” said Mark Zuckerberg, company founder and CEO, in a press statement, adding that “data shows the vaccines are safe and they work. They’re our best hope for getting past this virus and heading back to normal life.”

The company said it would be bringing millions “one step closer” to getting vaccinated, as the social media giant pushes a plethora of new features regarding COVID-19 vaccines on their various subsidiaries – Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger.

Among them is the development of a new tool that connects people to information regarding where and when they could be eligible for vaccination by expanding Facebook COVID-19 Information Center to Instagram.

In parallel, it would also expand WhatsApp’s chatbots responding to inquiries about the virus by getting more people registered to take the jab with the relevant health authorities, while adding labels on vaccine-oriented posts, showing information from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The tech company has also partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to power the vaccine finder tool to aid people in identifying nearby vaccination centers for respective American citizens, with location information being processed by VaccineFinder.org which would include hours of operation, contact info, as well as the ability to book appointments online.

Facebook users can access the tool within the COVID-19 Information Center, with social media platform noting that it will be supported in 71 different languages, with plans “to expand into other countries as vaccines become available more widely.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Facebook to build tools that aim to support consumers in their search for COVID-19 vaccines. Improving vaccine access and equity across the country will be a critical step in achieving herd immunity and bringing this pandemic to a close,” John Brownstein, CIO of Boston Children’s Hospital said in a separate statement.  

Connecting People to Resources on Instagram

Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center expansion into Instagram, which was first launched back in March of last year, will aid people to discover the latest information about the virus from local health ministries and the WHO.

Not only that, but the social media titan announced that they would support the United Nations’ “Only Together” campaign, which calls for the fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations around the world.

“In the coming days, we will be launching in-feed informational messages to promote content posted by health organizations who are participating in the UN’s campaign,” Zuckerberg noted.

Launching CrowdTangle COVID Vaccine Live Displays

Facebook is also making it easy to track how COVID-19 vaccine information is being spread on social media through CrowdTangle’s COVID-19 Live Displays. Publishers, global aid organizations, journalists, and others can access real-time, global streams of vaccine-related posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit in 34 languages.

CrowdTangle also offers Live Displays for 104 countries and all 50 states in the U.S. to help aid organizations and journalists track posts and trends at a regional level as well.