Amidst the push to maximize COVID-19 vaccine take-up worldwide, Facebook has announced that it’s partnering with a range of leading technology, healthcare as well as academic institutions in order to establish a new ‘Alliance for Advancing Health Online’, Facebook’s partnership aims to improve public understanding of how social media and behavioral sciences can be utilized to improve the health of communities globally.
Out of the other groups that play a part in the initiative are the CDC Foundation, Merck, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Merck and Facebook will each commit $20 million in funding to the multi-year program.
As shown in the above video, the Alliance will begin with focusing on addressing vaccine hesitancy, besides ensuring vaccine equity among underserved communities.
Moreover, Facebook already has a wide range of promotional tools and initiatives in place for this, while its association with the new group will also provide more in-depth research into how to best use behavioral science, social media also digital platforms in order to build confidence in and access to vaccines.
In light of Facebook’s partnership to improve key health messaging, Facebook explains: “Together with partners, we’ve seen promising results from our health work over the past few years. This highlights the Alliance’s opportunity to better understand what’s working, so it can be replicated and scaled. All of the findings generated through this research will be shared quickly, broadly, and publicly.”
Maximizing vaccine take-up is the main focus right now, particularly as resurgences of the virus continue to take hold in different regions, leading to ongoing lockdowns as well as disruption.
On the other hand, the best way to get things back to normal is to ensure that people are getting the vaccine when they’re able, and Facebook’s partnership will focus on not only boosting initial take-up but also providing a broader understanding of the key elements that will help to maximize similar campaigns as well as health promotion efforts on future.
The Alliance will award a variety of grants to advance this effort, starting with programs with the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Bay Area Global Health Alliance, who will each facilitate a series of community discussions over the coming months.