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Zuckerberg unveils Facebook’s plan to help get people vaccinated

Monitoring Desk

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday that Facebook is building a tool to connect people to information about where and when to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The big picture: Facebook has been blamed for the spread of anti-vaccination misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Details: In a blog post, Zuckerberg said the company aims to help bring 50 million people “one step closer to getting vaccinated” by helping people “learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and find out when and where” they can get one.

  • To make this possible, Facebook has partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer a tool that helps Facebook users identify places nearby to get a vaccine.
  • Zuckerberg said the company will also expand its “COVID-19 Information Center,” currently on the main Facebook app, to Instagram.
  • It will also deploy official chatbots on its messaging app WhatsApp to get people registered for vaccinations with health authorities and governments.
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook will make real-time aggregate trends on “COVID-19 vaccinations, intent to get vaccinated, and reasons for hesitancy” available to public officials, like the World Health Organization, to help inform an equitable rollout of the vaccine.

Be smart: It’s made more efforts in recent months to ensure more people access accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine as it become more accessible around the globe.

  • In a reversal from its previous position, Facebook said last month that it will take tougher action during the pandemic against claims that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccination, are not effective or safe.
  • Last year, Zuckerberg said the company wouldn’t target anti-vaccination posts the same way it has aggressively cracked down on COVID misinformation.