Boston Globe – Next time you’re searching for places to get a COVID-19 vaccination shot, don’t forget to check out Facebook. The social network on Monday announced a partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital to provide US residents with information about vaccine availability in their neighborhoods. The organizations are working to add the ability for users to make an appointment directly from the Facebook app.
John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, said that Facebook’s huge audience — over 220 million in the US and two billion worldwide — makes for an ideal way to spread the word. “That’s where people are,” Brownstein said. “We want to make sure we’re arming that platform with the best possible data on where vaccines are.”
But the listings at Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center are less comprehensive than at other websites, including the State of Massachusetts’ Vaxfinder site. For instance, the Facebook listings don’t include the state-run mass vaccination sites at places like Fenway Park. The Facebook listings mainly feature pharmacies at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart stores. However, the new Facebook service does include a link to the Massachusetts COVID-19 information page, where users can run a more thorough search. And Brownstein said more sites will be added over time, in Massachusetts and nationwide. At present, the Facebook page also offers vaccination site information for Alaska, Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, and New York State outside of New York City.