Facebook vaccine finder tool rolling out in India to help locate COVID-19 centres

Facebook, the social media giant in partnership with the Indian government is planning to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app in India. While leading tech companies are taking initiative to help India in such a dire situation, Facebook has joined the bandwagon and has stepped up to help people in the country identify places nearby to get inoculated against COVID-19.

“Partnering with the Government of India, Facebook will begin rolling out its Vaccine Finder tool on the Facebook mobile app in India available in 17 languages to help people identify places nearby to get the vaccine,” Facebook stated in its post.

The social media platform cited that the new vaccine finder tool will show walk-in options (for 46 years and above) and a link to register on the Co-Win website and schedule vaccination appointments as well. Notably, in this tool, vaccine centre locations and their hours of operation are shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Users will be able to access the tool in the COVID-19 Information Center.

In addition to bringing this tool, Facebook said that it is partnering with organisations such as United Way, Swasth, Hemkunt Foundation, I Am Gurgaon, Project Mumbai, and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) to deploy the funds announced to help augment critical medical supplies with over 5,000 oxygen concentrators and other life-saving equipment like ventilators, BiPAP machines and to increase hospital bed capacity. The company recently announced a $10 Mn grant for emergency response efforts in response to the COVID-19 crisis in India. Facebook is even supporting NGOs and UN agencies in the country with ad credits and insights to reach the majority of people on the website with COVID-19 vaccine and preventive health information. Alongside, health resources are also provided to people from UNICEF India in the platform about when to seek emergency care and how to manage mild COVID-19 symptoms at home.

At a time when countries are trying to curve the spread of the coronavirus, India is struggling to save its people from the ‘devastating’ second wave of this acute respiratory virus. The country has recorded over 26 lakh new cases and nearly 23,800 deaths in the past week. As per the PTI report, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has surpassed 15.22 crore. Over 2.45 crore people have registered on the Co-WIN digital platform ahead of the Phase-3 of the COVID-19 vaccination for those above 18 years that has begun from May 1.

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