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Supporting Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

As COVID-19 vaccine availability expands, there is a lot of work left to improve equitable access. As well as showing everyone on our platforms trusted vaccine information, we are focusing on how we can support communities with steeper challenges to accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Our work includes: 1) fundraising for global vaccine equity, 2) promoting reliable information to communities most affected by COVID-19, 3) amplifying trusted messengers, and 4) sharing insights and tools for equitable vaccine distribution.

We are inspired to see how people are coming together to help each other through this pandemic, and we want to do our part to help close gaps in vaccination rates by making it easier for people to raise awareness and get trusted information. 

Fundraising for Global Vaccine Equity

More than 700 million vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 87% have gone to high-income or upper-middle-income countries. To help address this, Facebook is donating $5 million to Go Give One, a COVID-19 fundraising campaign created by the World Health Organization Foundation. The campaign calls on everyone to play their part in helping to vaccinate the world, with the money raised going to an international fund called COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access). We’ll do this by donating the first $20 into Facebook Fundraisers created for the United Nations Foundation beginning April 28 in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Norway. These fundraisers will support equitable vaccine distribution around the world, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and putting countries on a path to recovery.

“You listened to the news and you watched on maps the places that had gotten the vaccine and places that don’t have the vaccine. And I must say before this, we were very frightened because we didn’t have a clue of what was going to happen. Then the vaccine arrived and that has given us hope.”

Alphonse Beckley after receiving the COVID-19 shot from a COVAX supported clinic in Ghana

Promoting Reliable Information

To help us promote reliable vaccine information to communities with lower access to vaccines, we will use the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index.* This is a publicly available dataset that crisis and health responders often use to identify communities most likely to need support, as higher vulnerability areas have had lower COVID-19 vaccination coverage. We’ll show general information to everyone, but will promote it more frequently or prominently in News Feed for people in lower-vaccination zip codes based on CDC data. 

“Facebook is taking a thoughtful approach to help public health leaders reach underserved communities with important information about the COVID-19 vaccine based on CDC’s tool. This supports our ongoing efforts to ensure all Californians have equitable access to the vaccine.” 

Dr. Tomás Aragón, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health

Amplifying Trusted Messengers

In countries where vaccines are becoming available to the general public, we’re focused on amplifying content from partners to help reach people most affected by COVID-19 and helping increase demand for COVID-19 vaccines. 

In the US, we’re working with partners like KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), BlackDoctor.org and the National Academy of Medicine to amplify content that features black doctors, nurses and researchers answering common questions about COVID-19 vaccines. And we’re supporting AARP and Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health to run Spanish-language campaigns about COVID-19 vaccines. We’re also partnering with Black-owned social enterprise Broccoli City to host a series of conversations on Facebook between Black influencers, doctors and scientists on vaccine equity and the overall impact of COVID-19. This is an extension of our ongoing live series talking about COVID-19 vaccines with diverse leaders on Facebook and Instagram, including transgender rights activist Elle Moxley, ER doctor and health creator Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, and actress and TV host Jacky Bracamontes

In the UK, we are launching campaigns with Dope Black Dads, the British Islamic Medical Association and the Caribbean African Health Network that aim to get COVID-19 vaccine information to the communities at highest risk. We will take a similar approach in other countries where vaccines are increasingly available.

Screenshot of Facebook amplifying content from partners to help increase demand for COVID-19 vaccines

Sharing Insights and Tools for Equitable Vaccine Distribution

According to research we did in partnership with UNICEF, healthcare workers are the most trusted voices about vaccines. We’ll promote posts featuring healthcare workers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine around the world and work with UNICEF and other partners to inform messaging in more than 100 countries. And our new Data for Good maps on relative poverty and population density help ensure that COVID-19 vaccine distribution in low-income settings is equitable and reaches remote populations.

*Reference to specific commercial products, manufacturers, companies, or trademarks does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the US Government, Department of Health and Human Services, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index is available on the agency website for no charge.

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