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Facebook to launch vaccine finder tool on its mobile app

On Saturday, the government began the vaccination process for all adults.

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New Delhi: Social media platform Facebook said it is partnering with the government to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app this week to help people identify nearby places to get inoculated. The announcement comes at a time when the country has begun the vaccination process for all citizens above 18 years.

Earlier this week, the social media giant had announced a $10 million grant for emergency response efforts for the Covid2019 situation in India, which is grappling with a deadly second wave of Covid2019. "We are committed to doing our best to help the local communities in the country with medical supplies and other life-saving equipment," it said in a public post on Friday.

The tool will provide information in as many as 17 languages. The details of the vaccine center locations and their hours of operation have been provided by the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW).

According to the government data, over 2.45 crore people have already registered on the Co-WIN app ahead of Phase-3 of the Covid2019 vaccination.

In a post, Facebook said its tool will also show walk-in options for those aged above 45 years and a link to register on the Co-Win website and schedule vaccination appointments.

"We are also partnering with organizations 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," it stated.

The platform said it is also providing health resources to people from UNICEF India about when to seek emergency care and how to manage mild symptoms at home. The information is accessible and prominent on Facebook's COVID-19 Information Center and in Feed. It is also promoting this information on Instagram.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have emerged as a lifeline, connecting those looking for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and ventilators with possible donors. Twitter too has set up a COVID-19 SOS page that helps surface information from those offering or seeking immediate help during this crisis.

India is reeling under one of the most severe waves of Covid2019. The country reported a record 4 lakh new positive cases in the last 24 hours, its sharpest spike since the pandemic first gripped the country last year. 

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