“[P]ublic health experts know that the last inch – getting the vaccine from vial to arm – can be the hardest,” according to the Vaccination Demand Observatory
Launched last week, the Observatory runs a “beta dashboard” of data and resources “intended for select global public health professionals.”
The Observatory was established by a group called the Public Good Projects (PGP) which “designs and implements large-scale behavior change programs for the public good,” UNICEF – which has received $86.6 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 2020 – and the Gates-subsidized Yale Institute for Global Health. .
PGP was founded by Joe Smyser, a public health academic who trained at the CDC and has partnered with Google and Facebook. Its board members include executives from Merck pharmaceuticals, Pepsi, Levi-Strauss, the Advertising Council, Sesame Street, Campbell’s, and TikTok.
PGP’s website says that through “media monitoring and bots, grassroots social media organizing, or thought leadership, we deploy our considerable resources and connections to communication for change.”
Bots – or internet robots, also known as crawlers – can scan content on webpages all over the internet and create automated conversations and comments.
“PGP is monitoring coronavirus-related media conversations 24/7 to provide organizations with real-time public health expertise and messaging guidance.”
The group has promoted vaccines before. It developed the #StopFlu campaign, recruiting 120 “‘micro’ social media influencers” in the “African American and Latinx communities across eight states” and giving them prompts to sell their audiences the ideas that flu is a serious problem and that healthy people need flu shots.