Facebook launches tool to help U.S. users find a COVID-19 vaccine

Map showing vaccination locations on the Facebook app on an iPhone

Facebook has announced a new tool meant to help make it easier for the public, specifically those in the United States, find information about where they can get vaccinated for COVID-19. The social network partnered with Boston Children's Hospital to make this information available to U.S. users, giving them locations, along with operation times, contact information, and links to help set up an appointment.

Facebook hopes to help 50 million people get vaccinated, which is not an insignificant number. The tool is available inside the COVID-19 information center that's been available for a while now, and it supports 71 languages. Facebook also hopes to bring the tool to other countries as vaccines start to become more widely available everywhere else. On that note, the COVID-19 information center is also now rolling out worldwide on Instagram, so this information should be even easier to find in the future.

The social network also announced more efforts in making information related to COVID-19 easily available. As part of its Data for Good program, Facebook is adding information about the public attitude towards vaccines in its map, helping public officials and governments understand the concerns of their population. Facebook is also making it possible for users to follow along with what people are saying about the vaccine through CrowdTangle's Live Displays, which aggregates posts from all over the world related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Facebook map showing the vaccination status and trends in the US

Furthermore, the company is doubling down on its efforts to promote reliable information about COVID-19. In addition to removing posts containing false claims about COVID-19 and its vaccines, Facebook is now adding links to reliable information about them in posts that discuss them, providing additional context form official sources.

In addition to these new tools, Facebook also mentioned that it's been working and continues to work with governments and health authorities, who are now using its platforms to inform users about vaccinations. For example, Buenos Aires, in Argentina, is using WhatsApp as the official platform for notifying the public when it's their turn to get the vaccine, and other countries have launched helplines on the platform to help people learn more about the vaccination process. Finally, Facebook is supporting the Only Together program by the United Nations, and in the coming days, it will launch informational messages in people's feeds promoting content from health organizations in countries participating in the program.

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