Facebook joins fight against flu

Posted 10/24/20

As COVID continues to plague our state, doctors and public health officials are sounding the alarm about the importance of getting a flu shot this year. But with flu vaccination rates remaining low, …

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Facebook joins fight against flu

Posted

As COVID continues to plague our state, doctors and public health officials are sounding the alarm about the importance of getting a flu shot this year. But with flu vaccination rates remaining low, including the last CDC report in 2018-19 saying only 56.3 percent of Rhode Island residents got a flu shot, Facebook has added new tools to connect users to important information about the flu vaccine and identify the nearest location to receive one. 

Facebook users will see reminders at the top of their newsfeeds leading them to the Preventative Health tool for information from the CDC on flu vaccine administration and nearby locations. With millions of Americans still working from home, it is important to provide updated information on vaccine locations that may be different from years past. 
  Facebook also announced they are prohibiting ads on the platform discouraging people from getting vaccinated. While a COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be available for some time, health authorities recommend taking preventative measures, including getting a flu vaccine, to stay healthy. Ads discouraging the flu vaccine will be rejected globally. 

  According to the CDC, only 48 percent of U.S. adults received the flu vaccination last year. The CDC recommends people get their flu shot by the end of October, but the sooner people can receive the flu vaccine, the better prepared Americans and health providers will be to control a flu outbreak on top of COVID-19. 

  Facebook is also partnering with global health partners, including WHO and UNICEF, to increase messaging around vaccine education and to advance programs of research on vaccine communication. This announcement comes as part of Facebook’s work to help the public health industry build trust in vaccines for the long term. 
 

Facebook, COVID

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.