As several different COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available in the US, Facebook plans to start rolling out notifications to connect people to state-specific information from their local health departments about how they can get vaccinated. Like it did during the 2020 US presidential election, the company plans to take a state-by-state approach. If you live in the US, you’ll only see the new message appear once your state has opened up vaccinations to all adults. Facebook says it plans to do things this way, “so we don’t promote vaccines before everyone is eligible.” However, the goal is to roll out those notifications nationally and eventually in other countries when it makes sense.
These new notifications build on the more generic ones Facebook began displaying earlier in the year. It was possible to use those to find and book a vaccine appointment, but you had to navigate through Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center. Between January and March, more than 3 million people in the US clicked through those notifications to access information from their local public health authority. And while it didn’t provide specific numbers, the company notes the messages had a “positive impact on vaccine registrations.”