The decision by the Australian health authorities coincides with the government’s $ 20 million (approximately € 13 million) advertising campaign to convince the population to get the vaccine and fight conspiracy theories about immunization.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday that his department will continue with the publicity campaign to encourage vaccination, but not on Facebook. “All of our resources will be used,” said Hunt.
Facebook criticizes the law that Australia is about to pass and that aims to compel large technology companies to pay the media for the use of their content. In retaliation, the social network last Thursday blocked Australian media news from its platform and also banned access to several government accounts.
The country’s parliament must pass the law during the week and many believe that, given its inevitable application, Facebook will negotiate a solution with the Australian press and government.
Facebook’s blunt response contrasts with Google, which has entered into agreements with several press groups, such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and the British newspaper The Guardian, to pay for the use of its news.
Australia started the vaccination campaign on Sunday. Octogenarian Jane Malysiak, a World War II survivor, was the first to be immunized.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other senior government officials also received the first dose of the vaccine. Health professionals and other priority groups will be vaccinated during the week.
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