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US uses WhatsApp to encourage Hispanics to get vaccinated :: Latinxtoday :: Hispanics

San Francisco, Jun 22 (EFE News) .- The intimacy of the one-to-one conversations and the speed to provide information and resolve doubts are the characteristics that led the United States Government to bet on WhatsApp as a way to encourage Hispanics to get vaccinated, Facebook’s global director of multicultural communications, Sonia Sroka, told Efe.

“What WhatsApp offers is an easy, immediate and private exchange of text. That gives a feeling of confidence (to the user) to ask medical questions that they probably would not want to raise elsewhere,” said the director of the social network, owner of WhatsApp.

The instant messaging platform announced on Monday an agreement with the US Government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a chat in Spanish with information about the vaccine against covid-19 and where to receive it.

“It’s about going to find people where they are, and the Latino community is a lot on WhatsApp,” explained Sroka on Tuesday, who explained that the Menlo Park firm (California, USA) puts the technology, but it is the Government (through the CDC) that is responsible for the contents of the chat.

According to a study by the specialized company eMarketer, more than half (52%) of Hispanics in the US use WhatsApp to communicate with their friends and family, a much higher proportion than that of other ethnic groups such as African Americans (17 %), Asians (15%) and whites (12%).

This substantial difference could be explained by the great popularity of WhatsApp in the countries of origin of Latinos, since they would be using the application to communicate, in addition to each other, with family and friends residing in Mexico, Central and South America.

The chat, which is entitled “My Chat About COVID Vaccines”, can be accessed by opening a conversation on WhatsApp with the CDC’s phone number (833) 636-1122 or through the following link (https://wa.me/ 18336361122? Text = hello).

Once the chat is open, if the user sends a simple message with the word “Hello”, they will immediately receive a response with information about the free and availability of vaccines.

Among other things, you will be informed that vaccines are available to anyone 12 years of age and older, regardless of immigration status, and that you do not need to have health insurance to receive them for free.

Next, you will be offered four options – most of them informative – the first of which allows you to find a nearby place to receive the vaccine by entering the zip code.

In addition, the user will also be informed that the transport companies Uber and Lyft are offering free trips to go to get vaccinated until July 4.

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