A new ad campaign to encourage 18-34 year olds to get their life-saving COVID-19 booster shots has been launched as uptake among young people is lower than other age groups.
While over 80% of eligible adults in England received a booster shot, only 57% of eligible 18-34 year olds got a boost.
The new campaign, delivered across digital and radio, highlights that being unvaccinated or failing to register for your booster increases your risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Recent data released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows how important it is to get the booster shot, with people who have not been vaccinated being up to eight times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. The booster vaccine was found to be 88% effective in preventing people from ending up in hospital due to Omicron two weeks after the dose was given.
UKHSA data shows that over time, two doses are not enough to protect people against symptomatic infection caused by Omicron. A third dose provides approximately 70% protection against symptomatic Omicron infection two weeks after the booster is given.
Media Physician and A&E Frontline Physician, Dr. Kishan Bodalia said:
As a doctor, I know that young people can often think they are invincible, but I see more and more young people hospitalized with COVID-19, with the vast majority of people hospitalized unvaccinated.
I want to remind people that you can still get seriously ill with the virus, so getting the vaccine is so important to protect ourselves and your friends and loved ones.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
We can learn to live with COVID-19 if everyone gets their shots and booster shots.
More than 9 out of 10 eligible over 50s have already received their supplement and we are calling on young people to play their part and be boosted now.
Vaccines provide strong protection against serious illnesses caused by Omicron and will help keep you and your loved ones safe.”
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said:
It is essential that young people show up for their first, second or booster dose to avoid missing out on the things they love and reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself – but most importantly, by getting vaccinated, you are also protecting your friends and family as we fight this wave of Omicron.
It’s fantastic that Snapchat is supporting our new campaign to encourage young people to get bitten so we learn to live with COVID – and it’s great that young people can celebrate their role in this crucial national mission. To everyone who hasn’t come forward yet, please Get Boosted Now.”
As part of the new advertising campaign, the government has teamed up with social media giant Snapchat to launch a new filter aimed at boosting uptake of the vaccine among young audiences.
The “I was boosted” filter can be added to any photo or video on Snapchat. It celebrates those who have received their booster shot and anyone who sees content with the booster filter can tap a link to get more information about the vaccines and where they can book their shot.
Stephen Collins, senior director of international public policy at Snapchat, said:
With Snapchat reaching 75% of 13-34 year olds in the UK, we believe we can play a unique role in helping young people access accurate and trusted information.
We are delighted to continue our partnership with the UK Government to support the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, following a successful vaccine awareness collaboration last summer. We hope our new Snapchat vaccine reminder filter will encourage our community to protect themselves and others.”
Filters on Snapchat are available from January 14, in addition to the “I had my covid booster shot” stickers which will be available from the sticker bin.
The government has worked closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine, including through ‘get a shot’ pop-up vaccination sites across the country, such as nightclubs, football stadiums, festivals and shopping malls.
Advice and information on the benefits of vaccination were shared at every opportunity, including through a series of partnerships with industries primarily catering to younger audiences.
This work has included partnerships with high-profile entertainment and sports figures on short films encouraging people to get bitten, such as movie stars Jim Broadbent and Thandiwe Newton, and soccer personalities Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara. .
Throughout the vaccination programme, the government has also partnered with dating apps, social media platforms and major companies, such as Uber and Deliveroo, on advertisements and incentives to get vaccinated.