Meta

Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts for Children

By Kang-Xing Jin, Head of Health
  • Following the FDA’s authorization of COVID-19 vaccination for children, we’re announcing steps to promote reliable information to parents on our apps, including in-feed messages for more communities and new ad campaigns.
  • To combat misinformation, we’ll enforce our policies on harmful content related to children and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ever since COVID vaccines became available in the US, our goal has been to keep everyone safe by promoting reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine, taking action against misinformation, and encouraging people to get vaccinated. We’re encouraged to see that for people in the US on Facebook, vaccine hesitancy has declined by about 50 percent since January and vaccine acceptance is high. Today, following the FDA’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, we’re taking additional steps to promote reliable information and stop the spread of harmful false claims about the vaccine for children.

“As the COVID-19 vaccines extend to younger children, parents and caregivers will be seeking information to help them make this important decision for their families. Through THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN we will continue to amplify the voices of trusted healthcare providers to offer this support. We appreciate Facebook’s continued commitment to getting out this campaign.” Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President & Director of Social Impact Media at Kaiser Family Foundation

In the coming weeks we will be sending in-feed reminders on Facebook in English and Spanish about vaccines being available for children 5-11. We will also be promoting information from health experts through in-feed messages answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and in-feed reminders that vaccines are now available for children ages 5-11, with a link to help locate the nearest location to get the vaccine. (Updated on November 3, 2021 at 10:30 AM PT to clarify the descriptions of these two products.)

Screenshot of in-feed message about the COVID-19 vaccine for children

We’ll also be continuing our work with partners like the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Greater Than COVID initiative on large-scale informational campaigns that connect parents of young children directly with reliable information about the vaccine. 

We know these campaigns are working. For example, we partnered on a successful campaign with the Ad Council encouraging parents of children 12+ to seek more information about COVID-19 vaccines, and recently, researchers demonstrated that a public health message promoted through Facebook ads reduced travel before Thanksgiving and Christmas last year and COVID infection rates in targeted areas.

“There was concern before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays last year that heavy travel would lead to an increase in COVID-19 infections, which is why we ran a Facebook campaign to encourage people to stay home. We were very excited to see the positive results and discover that social media campaigns can be a highly effective tool to improve health outcomes.” – Esther Duflo, Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT and winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

And to reduce the spread of misinformation, we’ll enforce our policies on harmful, false content including by removing claims like: 

  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines do not exist for children
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine for children is untested
  • Claims that something other than a COVID-19 vaccine can vaccinate children against COVID-19
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for children
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm children
  • Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines are not effective in preventing COVID-19 for children

As always, we’ll continue to watch for emerging trends and will update our policies based on guidance from public health authorities.

This is not a single update, but part of an ongoing effort in partnership with health authorities like the CDC and WHO and others, both in the U.S. and globally. We will continue to clarify our policies and add new claims about the COVID-19 vaccine for children that we remove from our apps. Find a full list of COVID-19 and vaccine claims we remove.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve removed more than 20 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram and over 3,000 accounts, Pages and groups globally for spreading COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation. This is part of our ongoing commitment to promote reliable information, fight misinformation and encourage vaccinations. So far, we’ve connected over 2 billion people to authoritative information from health experts and have labeled hundreds of millions of pieces of content that independent fact-checkers reviewed. Our work is far from finished and we’ll use every tool we possibly can to keep people on our platform informed about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.



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