One Billion People to Receive COVID-19 Communication Powered by Twilio Within 12-24 Months

One Billion People to Receive COVID-19 Communication Powered by Twilio Within 12-24 Months

  • $11 million in new grants and product credits for initiatives supporting equitable access and education to at-risk and under-served communities
  • Over 450 Federal, State and Local Governments, Health Services, Educational Institutions, NGOs and Nonprofits rely on Twilio for COVID-19 communication
  • Twilio has seen usage in over 180 countries, representing 97% of the global population for COVID-19 response initiatives 

Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform, announced that one billion people will receive COVID-19 communication powered by Twilio within the next 12-24 months to support an accelerated and equitable rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Twilio will help its customers streamline communication, distribution, coordination and administration through its customer engagement platform, Twilio funding and other resource commitments.

“Effective communication and coordination play a critical role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, especially while demand outstrips global supply,” said Erin Reilly, chief social impact officer at Twilio. “Twilio is working with developers and organizations around the world to develop digital engagement solutions across all channels for vaccine logistics, distribution, appointment coordination, follow-up and more at amazing speed and scale, but we need to do more to ensure swift and equitable vaccine access globally.”

New assistance includes: 

  • $10 million in grants from Twilio’s Impact Fund to support local and global initiatives that provide equitable access and education to help under-served communities get vaccinated. Nonprofit organizations and NGOs can apply for one-year grants up to a maximum of $500,000 here.
  • $1 million in Twilio and Twilio SendGrid product credits, in addition to existing kickstart credit and discounted pricing, to build and scale communications to ensure access to vaccines for under-served communities globally. Nonprofit organizations, NGOs and for profit social enterprises can apply for credits here.
  • Quick deploy apps and tutorials that enable organizations to rapidly scale solutions like SMS-based vaccine registration and appointment scheduling using ubiquitous, accessible communication channels.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[r]eaching intended vaccine recipients is essential to achieving desired levels of COVID-19 vaccination coverage” but this is incredibly complex at the federal, state and local level because each region has a nuanced rollout powered by disparate systems. Communication channels such as voice, SMS, WhatsApp and other forms of messaging are critically important to provide equitable access and education to all populations, especially the approximately 40% of the global population without access to the internet and those who are less digitally savvy.

“With Twilio Flex, we were able to stand up a hotline for COVID-19 testing that we’re now using for vaccine distribution logistics across the state of Texas,” said Ryan Ahlfors, director of information technology at Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council. “The speed of deployment, ability to quickly adapt, ease of use and seamless integration enabled us to stand up the vaccine hotline in one day. It has handled over 30,000 calls about vaccine distribution logistics since launch and logistically, has been a breeze.”

Federal, State and Local Governments, Health Services, Educational Institutions, NGOs and Nonprofits Rely on Twilio Vaccine Solutions

Over 100 federal, state and local governments have turned to Twilio for COVID-19 response support including vaccine delivery by enabling the distribution of public information and engagement:

  • The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council and the Texas Division of Emergency Management created a hybrid hotline and phone system using Twilio Flex in support of the state of Texas, currently handling up to a thousand calls a day about vaccine distribution logistics.
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services utilizes Twilio Messaging to extend their existing contact tracing capabilities to support their massive notification efforts, especially to rural areas to advocate for the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine. The state has sent more than 400,000 vaccine related text messages in under two weeks.

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Nearly 250 health systems are building solutions on Twilio that support appointment coordination, distribution logistics, follow-up and vaccine effectiveness monitoring:

  • St. Luke’s University Health Network, one of the top 100 health networks nationally, built St. Luke’s Shot-Line in two weeks using Twilio’s platform. Shot-Line allows for full automation of COVID-19 vaccine scheduling via voice to make it quick and easy for patients to get vaccinated – in English or Spanish. Prior, patients waited hours for a live agent or up to two days for a call-back, even with an expanded contact center. Patients are now able to schedule a vaccine appointment within 2-3 minutes and have a confirmation texted to them.
  • MaineHealth, the largest health system in Northern New England, built and deployed a hotline and SMS program on Twilio to manage vaccine eligibility alerts and scheduling. The hotline has received over 230,000 inbound calls in the last 30 days, enabling its health practices and hospitals to focus on providing necessary care and vaccine coordination.
  • Spectrum Health based in Grand Rapids, Michigan is using Twilio SMS and Voice to send 20,000-40,000 automated vaccine appointment reminders per day tied to their Epic electronic health record system.
  • Twilio is also helping in other ways, such as supporting community-driven initiatives and helping to hire vaccinators:
  • Dr. B’s standby list for leftover COVID-19 vaccines utilizes Twilio SMS to communicate with vaccine recipients and providers. With over half a million patient sign-ups for the vaccine standby list and over 200 providers in 30 states who have signed up for the provider waitlist, Dr. B relies on Twilio to help alert patients when an unclaimed COVID-19 vaccine is ready for them.
  • Developer-founded VaccinateCA uses Twilio SMS to assist in gathering up-to-date information from medical professionals about vaccine availability, which they publish to help Californians get vaccinated faster. Hundreds of thousands of people have used VaccinateCA to find up-to-date vaccine eligibility and availability information since their launch in January 2021.
  • RoboRecruiter leveraged Twilio SMS and Twilio SendGrid to automate the sourcing, screening and hiring of over 5,000 vaccinators in London in 24 hours as well as to register and communicate with people about vaccine eligibility and scheduling appointments.

“Achieving effective and equitable COVID-19 vaccination relies on the ability to deliver personalized communication fast and efficiently, at global scale,” said Mitesh Patel, director of a major U.S. health system’s nudge unit. “We’ve demonstrated that Twilio’s platform can be used to improve real life results in a wide range of areas including vaccination. The key is delivering behaviorally informed messaging that is tailored to each person by using the right channel. This is critical to providing equitable access to the vaccine globally, especially to those without access to the internet.”

While the world bands together to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s crucial to continue effectively managing and communicating current and new cases to curb the spread of the virus. Twilio is powering communications for more than 28 cities’ and states’ contact tracing initiatives – with potential to address contact tracing needs of over half the United States population – and is partnering with Google and Apple to power SMS messaging for Exposure Notifications.

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