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Can Facebook Help You Get Vaccinated?

By Corinne Cardina - Feb 28, 2021 at 5:55AM

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We spoke with Facebook's Head of Health KX Jin about the social media giant's new campaign to help users find out when and where they can get their COVID vaccine.

With more than 2.6 billion daily users, it's no secret that Facebook (META -0.76%) reaches a lot of people around the world across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Building on its COVID-19 information center, the tech stock recently announced a big push to provide authoritative information about coronavirus vaccines. This new campaign will connect users with localized vaccination information, remove more vaccine misinformation from its platforms, and donate $120 million in ad credits to health agencies around the world. 

Corinne Cardina, Fool.com's healthcare and cannabis bureau chief, got the chance to speak with Facebook's Head of Health KX Jin on Feb. 10 about Facebook's plan to increase trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Here's what he said about how users can leverage its new tools to get vaccinated.

 

 

Corinne Cardina: Certainly. The past year has shown us how important focusing on health, of course, is. I want to talk a little bit about Facebook's work in the COVID-19 space. Last March, Facebook launched the COVID-19 Information Center, and that came at the top of News Feed so that users can get reliable and authoritative information around the pandemic. Of course, today we're a little over a year into the pandemic and Facebook is now focused on helping the world recover from the pandemic, which of course includes vaccination. That leads us to the big news of this week, you announced that Facebook is unveiling the largest worldwide campaign to promote authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines in order to build trust and confidence in those vaccines. Just to hit, a couple of the highlights as part of the campaign, Facebook is donating $120 million in ad credits to health ministries, NGOs, and UN agencies so they can share accurate information. Beyond the Facebook platform, the COVID-19 Information Center will be launched on Instagram, and Facebook will be partnering with health agencies to share COVID-19 information on WhatsApp as well. What else does this campaign entail and how can Facebook users actually find out when and where they can get vaccinated?

KX Jin: The COVID-19 Information Center is something we launched last year, shortly after COVID was declared a public health emergency by the WHO. We've been updating this throughout. At this point, over 2 billion people worldwide have been connected to credible information through these efforts across 189 countries. I honestly haven't seen the company come together in this way to support these efforts since a decade ago and tremendously good fall for that support. A lot of the things we're announcing today, I think, build on the work we did over the last year, so it's a continuation of that. Within the COVID-19 Information Center, one of my personal favorite features is the localized information. I live in San Mateo County in California, and I've been using the information center to get updates from my county health department on the vaccine rollout. Even though it's going to be a while before I get my vaccine, I found it really helpful to get that information.

Cardina: Absolutely. Facebook will also be partnering with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to reach Native American communities, Black communities, and Latinx communities, among others, with that evidence-based content. Is there anything else you want to share about that partnership?

Jin: I think we've been working really closely with a lot of these partners to just make sure that everyone who needs access to this information can get it. This is one of the things that we're really excited to continue partnering with.

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