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Photo illustration by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is partnering with a global tech non-profit called Meedan to give its 80+ fact-checking partner organizations access to training from experts in how to handle health and vaccine misinformation, a spokesperson tells Axios.

The big picture: It's part of an expanded effort by Facebook to reduce health misinformation on its platform. The tech giant is facing increasing criticism from the Biden Administration and others that it isn't doing enough to curb misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Details: Meedan will host a series of virtual training sessions between its team of doctors, scientists and other health experts and Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers on how to better spot and fact-check misinformation.

  • Meedan’s Digital Health Lab compiles research-based evidence from experts to to address digital health information misinformation. A large part of what Meedan focuses on is providing fact-check trainings specifically for health information to groups that need support.
  • Moving forward, the partnership will give Facebook's fact-checking partners access to Meedan’s health experts whenever they need immediate help with health-related fact-checks.

By the numbers: Facebook has spent $84 million on programs supporting its fact-checking efforts through the Facebook Journalism Project in the past five years.

  • It relies on third-party fact-checkers to police misinformation so it's not on the hook itself for making tough calls on controversial material.

Flashback: Facebook in February said it will take tougher action against claims that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccination, are not effective or safe. That position was a reversal from its previous position on vaccine misinformation.

The big picture: Fears of a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. are driving more Republicans and right-leaning media, as well as tech companies, to promote vaccinations and combat misinformation.

Go deeper

Philly to begin vaccinating children ages 5-11

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Philadelphia's Public Health Department said certain providers will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5-11 immediately.

Driving the news: CDC director Rochelle Walensky recommended the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old late Tuesday.

  • The endorsement, which follows CDC independent advisers' unanimous recommendation, marks the final step in the U.S. approval process, clearing the shots for younger kids.
Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."