Facebook has announced that it will add new links to the COVID-19 Information Centre to enable users to find relevant vaccine-related information. Starting this week in the US, the social media giant will feature links in the COVID-19 Information Centre to the local ministry of health websites to help people understand whether they are eligible to get vaccinated and how to do so. The platform had launched the COVID-19 Information panel in March 2020 to allow users to get all COVID-19-related details amid peak pandemic crisis around the world. Additionally, Facebook has announced that it would start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that already are debunked by public health experts.
The social media platform will add region-specific links on the COVID-19 Information Centre to help users find all the information about vaccines. The Indian government is also leveraging technological solutions such as phone apps (Aarogya Setu and Co-WIN) to start the COVID-19 inoculation drive on a mass scale. Facebook adds that the company is working with health organisations and community leaders to run campaigns, promoting accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and encouraging people to get vaccinated. "We're giving $120 million in ad credits to help health ministries, NGOs and UN agencies reach billions of people around the world with COVID-19 vaccine and preventive health information. And we’re providing training and marketing support to help governments and health organizations move quickly and reach the right people with the latest vaccine information," Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook says it will soon bring the COVID-19 Information Centre to Instagram so its users can access the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines across our apps. The company says it will also reach out to users via WhatsApp.
Speaking about combating vaccine misinformation, the company reveals that it will start removing myths that are debunked by leading health organisations, including the WHO. The company says claims such as "COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured," "it's safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine," and "vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism" that have been discredited by leading organisations will be removed from both Facebook and Instagram.