Founder and CEO at Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said the platform will be launching a global campaign to help bring 50 million people a step closer to getting COVID-19 vaccines. Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post on Monday 15 March, said the platform has already connected over 2 billion people to authoritative COVID-19 information. 

FACEBOOK WORKS ON TOOLS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO ACCESS COVID-19 VACCINES 

Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, Facebook is working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated.

First, it will be launching a tool that shows you when and where you can get vaccinated, and will provide you with a link to make an appointment. 

“This will be in the COVID Information Center, which we’ll show people right in their News Feed. We’ve already seen people use Facebook to find vaccination appointments, so this should enable millions more people to do the same,” Zuckerberg said. 

“Second, we’re bringing the COVID Information Center to Instagram, and we’ll show it to people prominently there too,” he added. 

WORKING WITH HEALTH AUTHORITIES TO EXPAND WHATSAPP CHATBOTS 

As a third step, Facebook is also working with health authorities and governments to expand their WhatsApp chatbots to help people register for COVID-19 vaccines. 

“More than 3 billion messages related to COVID have already been sent by governments, nonprofits and international organizations to citizens through official WhatsApp chatbots, so this update will help with the vaccination effort as well,” said Zuckerberg. 

“The data shows the vaccines are safe and they work. They’re our best hope for getting past this virus and getting back to normal life. I’m looking forward to getting mine, and I hope you are too,” he added. 

VACCINATION ROLLOUT IN SA

The number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke protocol in SA remained at 145 544 on both Saturday 13 March and Sunday 14 March. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday that the day was earmarked for administrative work. 

“The vaccination schedule will resume tomorrow [Monday],” he said. 

The latest cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 1 529 420. Cumulative recoveries stand at 1 454 290, representing a recovery rate of 95%. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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