Facebook launches new alert to help Virginians get vaccinated

Posted at 12:28 PM, Apr 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 18:53:56-04

NORFOLK, Va. - As the world inches towards normalcy, Facebook is doing its part to help.

"We recently just launched a large global campaign where we want to help 50 million people get information about the COVID-19 vaccine," said Erica Woods, Head of State Public Policy for the Southeast Region at Facebook.

Starting this week, Facebook users in Virginia will see a new alert in their news feed called the Vaccine Finder.

Upon clicking the alert, users will find information on how to register for the vaccine, where to get the vaccine and further details from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

"So when you sign on with your password to Facebook, right at the top of your news feed you'll see kind of a banner that's pointing you to the vaccine finder, and that will be under Instagram pages as well, so you won't have to search for it, you will click and it will take you to a new window with the information," Woods said.

The roll-out comes just as residents 16 and older are eligible to receive a vaccine in Virginia on Sunday.

"Having this vaccine and this tool will help people get accurate information right away," she said. "We certainly understand that we have a unique ability to reach people pretty quickly and we take that responsibility head on."

Facebook's company campaign promotes authoritative information about COVID vaccines and helps people find vaccination appointments. According to the social media giant, in addition to connecting Virginia residents to trusted information, Facebook is removing millions of pieces of COVID misinformation – 16 million pieces to date – to help the government and communities build trust in these critical vaccines at this important time.

"We feel like folks are pretty frequently on social media and that we should do our part to provide the most accurate information to the most amount of people that we can," she said.

Woods said Facebook also works closely with state health departments so the most accurate information is available.