CDPH Launches WhatsApp Chatbox to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced it has partnered with WhatsApp to launch Spanish- and English-language chatbots to provide accurate information on COVID-19, including information about vaccines. According to CDPH, and in part thanks to a partnership with Meta, California becomes the first state in the country to launch a tool of this kind.

When using this WhatsApp service, Spanish- and English-speakers will receive up-to-date information about the safety of vaccines, how to book vaccination appointments, and how to obtain digital records of vaccinations. The chatbox is free to all users and can be accessed by scanning a QR code or texting “hola” to 833-422-1090. Once the chatbox is active, a menu of options appear onscreen, allowing users to select the COVID-19 information most pertinent to them. This includes local vaccination sites, transportation options for getting to the site, and other frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

CDPH points to the tool as a facet of how the state continues moving forward via the SMARTER Plan, which prioritizes communicating with Californians and combating misinformation.

Additional information is available here.