Since the start of the pandemic, Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Centre has provided users with regional updates on the spread of the coronavirus – including details on staying safe, common symptoms of the virus, and more. Now, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced an expansion of the feature.
In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, the company has now debuted a new feature which will (initially) help US citizens identify where they can be vaccinated. The tool, which will gradually expand its reach worldwide, is intended to help authorities vaccinate at least 50 million people as a starting target.
The new tool will list the hours of operation of vaccination sites and host links to vaccination appointments.
Facebook has further confirmed that it is partnering with several authorities to help citizens around the world register to get a vaccine through a WhatsApp chatbot. South Africa’s Department of Health is one such authority that is already using a WhatsApp chatbot to connect with the general public.
The company further confirmed that the feature will also be present on Instagram, where it hopes to encourage vaccination drives by promoting new stickers and content to encourage users to take the jab for a good cause.
Finally, the company has committed to expand its efforts to counter misinformation surrounding the use of COVID-19 vaccines and will introduce labels with detailed explanations on different vaccines directly from the World Health Organisation.
What are your thoughts? Would the presence of such tools encourage you to take a vaccine? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.