Social media plays a monumental role in spreading awareness about the pandemic and its control. Last year was especially debilitating considering the whole world came in the grip of an unprecedented coronavirus that has so far taken the lives of more than 30 lakhs people.
To control the menace of pandemics, scientists all over the world were trying to find a vaccine that can act as a shield against new infections. It was a herculean task, but the research community was ready for the onerous responsibility, and after conducting the testing process, 3-4 different vaccines were made available for people.
Since social media is a better source of seeking information related to Covid 19, the social channel also began tracking the spread 0of infection and the availability of vaccines in different parts of the world. Though popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram were the most sought-after channels, new channels like Connected India and Helo also played a vital role in spreading awareness.
Recently, Facebook has made another effort to help maximize COVID-19 vaccine take-up, but this time it’s through in-feed alerts that will convince users to get the vaccine as soon as they’re eligible for one. Therefore, once vaccines are available in your area, Facebook will show users prompts within their News Feed to help raise awareness about its availability. Facebook isn’t doing it for the first time as earlier; they took the same approach during the US presidential election and sent promptly to voters for election participation.
Once vaccines become publicly available in your region, Facebook will prompt users, based on age, as to how they should try getting a vaccination. Hence, when a particular state says the general public is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, Facebook will notify people in that state that connects them with their state health department or their Vaccine Finder. They were doing it in the American states such as Alaska, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah, which they are expected to replicate in other world regions.
The latest move by Facebook is a novel idea to prompt vaccine take-up – over the past month. They have also added new updates in its COVID-19 Information Center, which show when people are eligible to be vaccinated. There is a new tool that guides users in the US to get vaccinated, together with the relevant links to make an appointment with new stickers and frames not only on Facebook but also on Instagram and WhatsApp to encourage take-up.
Considering Facebook’s massive reach, it’s in an ideal position to assist maximize vaccine messaging, and it’s looking to do its part through these various initiatives. The best part is that such efforts have a huge impact.
For instance, from January through March, over 3 million people in the US clicked through Facebook’s News Feed promotions and their COVID-19 Information Center to visit their state health website or the local facilitator. And giving this information right in their News Feed is having a positive impact on vaccine registrations.
Moreover, given Facebook’s massive reach and its capacity to highlight friends and family who have taken the vaccine, it can play a monumental role in helping to ensure take-up that will eventually bring us closer to a pandemic-free world.