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Brief Published: 25 Mar 2021

Tech Giants Launch Tools to Encourage Covid-19 Vaccination

Some 16% of US consumers still say they are unlikely to get a Covid-19 vaccination

A recent US-based survey has revealed that consumers are less likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine if their inoculation information is sourced from social media. In response, Facebook and Apple have rolled out new tools to platform accurate health information and streamline vaccine appointment scheduling.

  • The Inoculation Conundrum: As Covid-19 vaccines become more widely available, more Americans want them. McKinsey’s latest US-based Covid-19 Consumer Healthcare Insights Survey found that, in just one month (Jan-Feb 2021), the number of people planning to get vaccinated climbed 5%, reaching 43% of US consumers. Also, cautious vaccine adopters – who are waiting to feel more confident before getting vaccinated – contracted 18% in that time, dropping to 23% of respondents.
    However, confusion and anti-vax sentiments remain. Some 21% of respondents are unsure of their eligibility to receive the vaccine, and 16% still say they are unlikely to get it. The survey also revealed that consumers who rely on social media and local news (rather than health experts) for vaccine information are less likely to get the jab.
  • Social Media Strategies: To address this issue – and encourage vaccine adoption – Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced a new tool that displays locations and time slots for consumers to book a vaccination appointment via Facebook. The tool will sit in the platform’s Coronavirus Information Center, which is also expanding to Instagram to help fight misinformation.
    Similarly, Apple has added vaccination site information (such as contact info, operating hours and vaccine availability) as a new feature on its Maps application. Users can either open the Apple Maps app and tap ‘Covid-19 Vaccines’, or ask Siri. So far, 20,000 locations have been listed, but Apple said more sites will be added in the following weeks.

For more on how brands are responding to the vaccine rollout, see The Brief.