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SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today unveiled new WhatsApp chatbot tools in Spanish and English to offer reliable information about COVID-19 to Californians, especially those in the Latino community . Thanks to a partnership with Meta, California is the first state in the country to launch such a tool.

When you use this service, Spanish- and English-speakers will receive up-to-date information on vaccine safety, how to book vaccination appointments, and how to obtain digital vaccine records.

This new tool is a critical facet of how the state continues to move forward through the SMART Plan, which prioritizes communicating with Californians and countering misinformation.

This new tool strengthens the commitment of the CRPD to ensure access to vaccines through an approach based on data and centered on equity. The tool is also based on other strategies against misinformation and disinformation, including the deployment of a robust community of trusted messengers network focused on proactively reached Californians to ensure they are vaccinated and strengthened. WhatsApp is a popular communication channel among Hispanics, both in California and abroad.

The chatbot is free to all and can be accessed by scanning a QR code (below) or texting “hola” at 833-422-1090. Once the chatbot is active, a menu of options will appear on screen, allowing users to select the Covid-19 information most relevant to them. This includes local vaccination sites, transportation options to get to the site, and other frequently asked questions about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Our mission to keep California safe from the threat of Covid-19 is not over, and we must continue to keep our communities informed about how we can continue to move towards the new normal us every day. time for,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragon. “That’s why we’ll meet even more Californians where they are, and spend time every day, presenting reliable and accurate information on a trusted platform and in the language they speak. »

California was able to move to this new standard by informing residents about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 72 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered statewide: 6 million doses have been administered to the most vulnerable communities, with approximately 59.2% of Latinos in California fully vaccinated (having completed their primary series).

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, WhatsApp is a powerful tool to more than 150 healthcare organizations worldwide to share information and life-saving deal with misinformation. We are delighted to add the state of California as the first state in the United States in this effort as well, and doing so will provide more tools to get accurate news Californians and authoritative information , resources and tips to stay healthy during Covid-19, “said Mona Pasquill Rogers, head of policy Meta State California. “Partnerships like this are one of many ways Meta contributes to fight against misinformation in Spanish. »

For more information, visit MyTurn.ca.gov the state vaccination site where Californians can check their eligibility, register and receive notifications to schedule an appointment.

People without Internet access can call the hotline at 1-833-422-4255 Covid-19 (833-4CA-4ALL), which has the support in several languages. All personal data provided is confidential and protected.

Information about the state’s COVID-19 initiatives can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/es/

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