Four in five people aged 16 and over in the UK have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine – with more teens getting jabbed following successful social media campaigns.
A total of 43,535,098 people have received two doses, 80.1 percent, and 48,292,811 people have received one dose, 88.8 percent.
More than half of all teenagers aged 16 to 17 in England have already received their first jab, just over four weeks after the green light was given for this age group to be offered the vaccine.
To further drive vaccine uptake among younger adults and children eligible for the jab, a new campaign has launched this week across social media channels such as; Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as on radio stations including Kiss, Capital, Heart, Absolute and LBC – which begin from September 11.
The campaign will have two strands – one aimed at parents and another for under 18s.
Parents will be reassured the vaccine keeps everyone safe, protects families and helps keep teenagers’ ‘life on track’.
The message for 16 and 17 year olds is ‘don’t miss out on half terms plans, good times, and the COVID jab’.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is a phenomenal achievement that four in five adults across the UK have now received both COVID-19 vaccines, which have built a wall of defence around the UK and are allowing us to live safely with this virus.
“It is fantastic to see so many leading companies doing everything they can to help encourage young people to get the jab – from Tik Tok to MTV, as well as other household names who have already rallied behind the rollout like Uber.
“Getting your vaccine has never been easier, and I urge everyone to continue to play their part by getting the jab to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows vaccines have saved more than 105,000 lives and prevented 143,600 hospitalisations and 24 million cases in England.
TikTok’s support for the vaccine rollout includes adding the NHS ‘I’ve had my COVID vaccine’ stickers to its library for users to share, and working with Team Halo – a group of scientists using the platform – to provide the latest information on vaccines with entertaining and shareable videos.
MTV has added its weight to the vaccine campaign, with Club MTV, in collaboration with the NHS, throwing an exclusive gig on September 15, with headliners Rudimental and Young T and Bugsey, for people aged 18 to 30 who’ve had their vaccination.
The government is working closely with the NHS to make it as easy as possible to get a vaccine, including through ‘grab a jab’ pop-up vaccine sites at locations such as G-A-Y nightclub in London, the Hindu Temple in Crawley and the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus last weekend.
Data from Public Health England shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK. The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 percent effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 percent effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses.
Rich Waterworth, General Manager of TikTok UK & Europe: “We are proud to be supporting the NHS as the COVID-19 vaccination drive expands to under-18s.
“At TikTok, we’re committed to ensuring our community has access to accurate and trusted information to enable them to make informed decisions about the vaccine.
“It is great to be expanding our work with #TeamHalo to support the NHS’s outreach to younger audiences through a series of Q&As and LIVEs, with some of TikTok’s favourite vaccine scientists ready to answer all kinds of questions about the vaccine.”
Young people aged 16 to 17 can find their nearest vaccination site through the NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites opening up every day.
The NHS is texting millions of teenagers inviting them to come forward for a jab. Those who are within three months of their 18th birthday can book in through the national booking service.
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine.
Advice and information on the benefits of vaccination have been shared at every opportunity, including through a range of partnerships with industries catering for predominantly younger audiences.
This work has included partnerships with high-profile entertainment and sports personalities on short films encouraging people to get the jab, such as film stars Jim Broadbent and Thandiwe Newton, and football figures Harry Redknapp and Chris Kamara.
The government has also partnered with dating apps, social media platforms and large companies, such as Uber, Asda and Deliveroo, on adverts and incentives to get the vaccine.
For example, Asda will offer £10 vouchers for their clothing brand George at select stores to 18 to 30-year-olds who spend over £20, and Deliveroo will be distributing thousands of £5 vouchers over the coming weeks.