YouTube and NHS tie up to combat vaccine hesitancy among UK youth

Thirteen per cent of young people are hesitant about getting vaccinated.

YouTube is launching a multimillion-pound, NHS-backed campaign encouraging 18- to 34-year-olds to get vaccinated, with the call: "Let's not go back."

The campaign highlights the importance of being vaccinated, in particular how it can prevent another surge in Covid-19 cases across the country. An initial burst of out-of-home across billboard and bus stops goes live today (17 May).

From 24 May, the next phase kicks off with an array of user-generated content and YouTube Shorts in which young people and YouTubers talk about their experiences of a year in lockdown.

Created by Google's Creative Lab and produced by Gramafilm, the campaign comprises 12 video ads, digital banners, national press and paid social.

Films include a short by YouTuber Leena Normington, who worked with NHS medical director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani to come up with content that delivered a sober message in a style that resonates with her subscribers.

Meanwhile, football YouTuber Robbie Lyle will host a roundtable with fan channels and health experts to disseminate the vaccination message.

The campaign is partly in response to ONS data that found that vaccine hesitancy rates are highest among young people, at a proportion of 13% of 16- to 29-year-olds, nearly double the national average across all age groups.

Zoë Clapp, director, YouTube marketing UK, said: "YouTube is used by 98% of online 18- to 34-year-olds each month, and it is the primary platform for the NHS's target demographic for their vaccine campaign,  so it's a huge honour for us to be able to collaborate so closely with the NHS at such a critical time, to help young people find the information they need.

"The NHS has already vaccinated more than 35 million people in the UK, and we are proud to support them to continue this mission: with this campaign as well as with accessible information from our talented community of creators working side-by-side with leading health experts."

YouTube has already added information panels on its platform that link to global and local health officials when people search for Covid-related content.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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