Local residents, vaccinators seek to take advantage of Facebook's COVID-19 vaccine finder tool

Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 23:38:24-04

MILWAUKEE — COVID-19 resources and updates will soon come straight to your phone or computer. Facebook recently rolled out its own vaccine finder mapping tool.

Every adult in the United States will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in May. Many people are already trying to figure out where to get their shot.

"I had a lot of difficultly trying to navigate the different systems,” Tamara McAllister told TMJ4 News.

McAllister's daughter has a disability. Both she and her daughter have been eligible but still had trouble finding the vaccine.

For medical reasons, the two sought the Johnson & Johnson option. They finally got their appointments set for Saturday thanks to help from the Facebook group, “Milwaukee and Wisconsin Area Vaccine Hunters and Angels.”

"Somebody on the site was able to help us,” McAllister said.

Facebook itself is now hoping to bridge people like McAllister with information on how to get vaccinated. It’s partnering with Boston Children's Hospital to implement a mapping tool, helping people find vaccinations nationwide.

"With the reach, we're really hoping we can get all Americans vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Liz Su, with Boston Children’s Hospital.

The Boston-based mapping app will eventually roll out on Facebook nationwide and be populated with more local vaccinators.

Using Boston Children's Hospital's vaccine finder technology, users enter their zip code and a radius to search for nearby vaccinators and their preferred vaccination.

It also allows people to schedule their vaccination appointments.

"We'll also have mom and pop shops and local pharmacies, chains as well as local health departments,” Su said.

Facebook has also implemented several temporary measures to further limit the spread of potentially harmful COVID-19 and vaccine information during the pandemic. Some of those measures include:

  • Reducing the distribution of content from users that have violated policies on COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation or that have repeatedly shared content debunked as false or altered by our third-party fact-checking partners, and of any COVID-19 or vaccine content that fact-checking partners have rated as “Missing Context.”
  • Requiring admins for groups with admins or members who have violated COVID-19 policies to temporarily approve all posts within their group
  • Continuing to further elevate information from authoritative sources when people seek information about COVID-19 or vaccines.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

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More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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