This article originally appeared on the Johns Hopkins University website. Below is a brief excerpt.
As COVID-19 vaccines were still racing through clinical trials, a team at Johns Hopkins University developed VIRA, the Vaccine Information Resource Assistant. The chatbot debuted first as a webpage in July 2021, and later, with the marketing and technical support of Meta (previously Facebook), as a WhatsApp version this past January. The app is currently available in the U.S. in both English and Spanish, and the team is building international models.
Responding immediately to user questions, VIRA offers concise, plainspoken, expert-vetted answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines, linking to trusted sources for further information.