VIRA Partners to Launch a Competition and Chatbot
VIRA is a COVID-19 vaccine chatbot created by the Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center and IBM to provide users with instant answers on vaccine questions 24/7. VIRA, which works in English and Spanish, understands users’ questions in natural language, and responds with facts and empathy. The VIRA project is excited to announce that it has partnered with NACCHO to launch a competition (more details below) to bring a customized version to five U.S. health departments, and collaborated with the Pamoja Institute in Toronto, Canada to create Auntie Betty X VIRA.
Apply to Get a Custom AI Chatbot to Fight COVID-19 Misinformation: Through a collaboration with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), VIRA is being fully customized for use by five major U.S. health departments.
Johns Hopkins University is seeking to partner with 25 health departments to launch an AI chatbot to counter COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in your state, city, or county, at no cost to health departments. VIRA is a COVID-19 vaccine chatbot created by the Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center and IBM to provide users with instant answers on vaccine questions 24/7. VIRA, which works in English and Spanish, understands users’ questions in natural language, and responds with facts and empathy. It’s continually updated with new evidence and guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines, covering over 200 topics. Partners in the VIRA X NACCHO collaboration will receive technical support to embed VIRA in your own web page and related health campaigns, as well as real-time data showing trending and emerging concerns surrounding COVID-19.
For departments serving over 500,000 constituents, you can apply to the VIRA X NACCHO competition to access a VIRA Local, a fully custom version of VIRA for free. This includes access to all VIRA’s expert-vetted database responses as well as social messaging insights for your district and customized answers specific to your jurisdiction.
Auntie Betty X VIRA: Auntie Betty is a “Virtual Aunt” who uses storytelling techniques to connect empathetically with members of the community, share information, and answer questions.
Auntie Betty is a collaboration between The Pamoja Institute and The LAM Sisterhood with website support from House9, courtesy of funding provided by Black Health Alliance. Translation, live chat, information, and resource support for Auntie Betty are provided in partnership with Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services, Scarborough Centre for Health Communities and the Black Vaccine Engagement Team in Toronto, Canada.