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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday that Facebook is building a tool to connect people to information about where and when to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The big picture: Facebook has been blamed for the spread of anti-vaccination misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Details: In a blog post, Zuckerberg said the company aims to help bring 50 million people "one step closer to getting vaccinated" by helping people "learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and find out when and where" they can get one.

  • To make this possible, Facebook has partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer a tool that helps Facebook users identify places nearby to get a vaccine.
  • Zuckerberg said the company will also expand its "COVID-19 Information Center," currently on the main Facebook app, to Instagram.
  • It will also deploy official chatbots on its messaging app WhatsApp to get people registered for vaccinations with health authorities and governments.
  • Zuckerberg said Facebook will make real-time aggregate trends on "COVID-19 vaccinations, intent to get vaccinated, and reasons for hesitancy" available to public officials, like the World Health Organization, to help inform an equitable rollout of the vaccine.

Be smart: It's made more efforts in recent months to ensure more people access accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine as it become more accessible around the globe.

  • In a reversal from its previous position, Facebook said last month that it will take tougher action during the pandemic against claims that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccination, are not effective or safe.
  • Last year, Zuckerberg said the company wouldn't target anti-vaccination posts the same way it has aggressively cracked down on COVID misinformation.

Go deeper: Facebook says it will crack down on COVID vaccine misinformation

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia investigation that led to the impeachment trial of former President Trump — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 pandemic was "preventable disaster," WHO-commissioned report says

A health worker gives a COVID-19 test to a woman in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

The COVID-19 pandemic was a "preventable disaster" that exposed weak links "at every point" of the preparedness process, according to a World Health Organization-commissioned report published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response criticized governments worldwide for being unprepared for the pandemic despite the prevalence of past "global health threats," such as Ebola, Zika, and SARS outbreaks.