Facebook launches COVID-19 vaccine information resources

Facebook COVID-19

Tools to get locations and schedules of COVID-19 vaccine centers, WhatsApp chatbots, Instagram Information Center, and labels are a few of the resources launched by Facebook to streamline the spread of details around vaccination programs.

The COVID-19 vaccine information resources have been designed by Facebook in association with national and global health authorities.

COVID-19 Information Center

Facebook has partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer a tool on Facebook in the US to prompt people to identify places nearby to get the vaccine. The locations in this tool are provided by VaccineFinder and include hours of operation, contact info, and links to make an appointment. Users can access this tool in the COVID-19 Information Center and it will be supported in 71 languages. The platform plans to expand to other countries as vaccines are available more widely.

Screenshots of vaccine finder tool on Facebook

Resources on Instagram

The COVID-19 Information Center on Instagram has been rolled out globally. This portal, launched in the Facebook app last March, lets people discover information about the virus from local health ministries and the World Health Organization. Instagram is also releasing new stickers on Instagram Stories.

Screenshot of COVID-19 Information Center on Instagram

Resources From Experts

Facebook has partnered with expert local and international NGOs, such as International Medical Corps, who are providing tailored COVID-19 information in local languages. The platform also continues to work with international bodies like the European Union and African Union in support of their COVID-19 responses.

Facebook will also be launching in-feed informational messages to promote content posted by health organizations who are participating in the United Nations’ “Only Together” campaign calling for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

In February, in consultation with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization, Facebook expanded the list of false claims that will be removed during the pandemic to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines. Since launching the new policy applying both to old and new content, the platform has removed an additional 2 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram.

The company will also be adding labels to Facebook and Instagram posts that discuss the vaccines. These labels contain information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization. For example, Facebook is adding a label on posts that discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines that notes COVID-19 vaccines go through tests for safety and effectiveness before they’re approved. This label is rolling out globally in English, Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese, Arabic, and French, and additional languages will be added in the coming weeks.

Screenshot of labels added to posts on Facebook and Instagram that discuss COVID-19 vaccines

In the coming weeks, labels on all posts will be rolled out generally about COVID-19 vaccines that point people to the COVID-19 Information Center globally, and additional targeted labels about COVID-19 vaccine subtopics are being planned to be added. The platform will also add an additional screen when someone goes to share a post on Facebook and Instagram with an informational COVID-19 vaccine label. It will provide more information so people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what to share.

Additionally, here are a few temporary measures to further limit the spread of potentially harmful COVID-19 and vaccine information during the pandemic. Some of these measures include: 

  • Reducing the distribution of 
    • content from users that have violated policies on COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation or that have repeatedly shared content debunked as False or Altered by third-party fact-checking partners, and of 
    • any COVID-19 or vaccine content that fact-checking partners have rated as “Missing Context.”
  • Requiring admins for groups with admins or members who have violated our COVID-19 policies to temporarily approve all posts within their group

Making it Easier For Public Officials to Understand Vaccine Behaviors and Trends Around the World

The platform is bringing data and insights on vaccine attitudes to Facebook’s COVID-19 map and dashboard. These visualizations are designed to provide information to inform and monitor vaccine rollouts in over 200 countries and territories. The dashboard is updated in near real time with data collected by our partners at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland as part of the COVID-19 Symptom Survey.

For example, globally, the top two reasons why respondents say they do not intend to get vaccinated are fear of side effects and waiting to see if vaccines are safe. Facebook does not host the surveys or collects survey participant responses, and only has access to public, aggregated survey data provided by the universities. This data can help inform messaging tactics and policy decisions at a regional level.

Screenshot of vaccine status map and dashboard

CrowdTangle COVID-19 Vaccine Live Displays

The resource will 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 to track posts and trends at a regional level as well.