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the coronavirus crisis

Facebook to launch tool showing users 'when and where you can get vaccinated'

Facebook has announced it will be taking some new steps with the goal of making it "easier for everyone to get vaccinated" against COVID-19.

The company detailed these efforts on Monday, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying Facebook will launch a tool to show users "when and where you can get vaccinated." The tool, developed in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital, will be a part of the platform's COVID-19 Information Center, and it will help users find where they can get the vaccine near them, providing hours of operation, contact information, and a link where they can make an appointment.

This tool will roll out in the United States with plans for it to expand to other countries, Facebook said. Facebook also said it will use WhatsApp chatbots to help users register to get their vaccine with governments and health authorities.

Additionally, Facebook said it will add new labels to posts about vaccines providing authoritative information. In one example Facebook showed, a post from a user about their friend not feeling well after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine includes a label that reads, "COVID-19 vaccines go through many tests for safety and effectiveness before they're approved," and it links users to more information.

"In the coming weeks," Facebook said, it will be labeling "all posts generally about COVID-19 vaccines," pointing users to its COVID-19 Information Center, and it will roll out "additional targeted labels about COVID-19 vaccine subtopics," as well. This COVID-19 Information Center will also be expanded to Instagram.

Facebook, facing pressure to crack down on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, previously announced it would remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines. This, Axios noted, was a reversal for Facebook after Zuckerberg in 2020 suggested the company wouldn't crack down on vaccine misinformation as much as it previously had with misinformation about COVID-19.