COVID-19: One Million Jabs Booked In Two Days – Now Social Networks Encourage Young People To Get Theirs | News from the UK
Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and Reddit are joining a new campaign encouraging more young people to get their coronavirus vaccination.
The social networks have teamed up with the government to push the final phase of vaccine rollout.
New data shows that one million vaccination appointments have been booked in the two days after the NHS began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone over 18 in England.
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Although Health Secretary Matt Hancock has praised young people’s “continued enthusiasm for vaccines”, data suggests that Britons ages 16-29 have the highest levels of vaccination reluctance.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 13% of people in this age group are unsure whether to get a vaccination, although the virus is spreading fastest among the youngest in the country.
Working with social networks is designed to help prevent the spread of misinformation.
Snapchat users can use new NHS stickers and a filter that says “I have my vaccine”.
It also provides links to reliable sources of information about how the jab works, and a series of Q&A with medical experts is held on the Prime Minister’s Snapchat account.
TikTok is also rolling out vaccine stickers and is partnering with a group of scientists who use the video sharing site to share clips about the vaccination.
Dr. Karan Rangarajan, an NHS surgeon and influencer with 3.9 million followers on TikTok, said, “Misinformation affects all groups equally and there is a large user base in their late teens or early 20s.
“They are also the last cohort in the UK to have the vaccine so it is a really important target group.”
He also warned that the “most dangerous and strongest” combination of misinformation happened when falsehoods mixed up a small amount of truth.
The new campaign comes on the day the final phase of England’s roadmap out of lockdown – which would have lifted any remaining legal restrictions on social contact – was due to take place.
This milestone has now been postponed by four weeks to July 19, after the cases of the Delta variant, first discovered in India, rose sharply.
The onslaught of vaccination appointments resulted in an average of 21,000 bookings per hour – or six per second – being recorded on Friday and Saturday.
Four in five adults have now had their first vaccination, according to NHS England figures, with three in five adults now fully vaccinated.
NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens says “the finish line is in sight” – and nearly nine million people in their twenties and thirties have already taken their first dose.