Leading social media platforms unite to support UK COVID-19 vaccine drive

words Alexa Wang

Leading social media platforms including Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok, and YouTube, are supporting the UK Government’s vaccination programme by encouraging their users to get coronavirus (COVID-19) jabs.

The partnerships come as all adults aged 18 and over are invited to receive a vaccine in England as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale.

covid jab

Snapchat extends in-app resources to people looking for more information

The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by 19 July, 2 weeks earlier than planned. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to all adults.

The government has also developed a toolkit with content designed to be shared via WhatsApp and Facebook community groups, as well as Twitter and YouTube. On Instagram, storytellers can use Instagram story templates to tackle false information about the vaccine.

Snapchat users can add NHS stickers, a filter, and later this month, an augmented reality lens that all read: “I’ve had my vaccine” for UK users to share on their accounts. The platform has also expanded its: “Here For You” feature which provides in-app resources to people looking for more information around health, mental health and wellbeing.

vaccine drive

Reddit hosts questions and answers sessions

The community network platform Reddit has hosted two live “ask me anything” sessions on its coronavirus forum, featuring experts such as Dr Amalina Bakri answering questions from Downing Street. Reddit will continue to host questions and answers over the coming weeks to help people access factual and reliable information from a range of experts.

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.

“With Snapchat playing a key part of the lives of young people around the world, we’re thrilled to collaborate with the government to make sure they have accurate and trusted resources to stay safe, healthy and informed,” Ed Couchman, UK Regional General Manager at Snapchat, said.

YouTube rolls out “Let’s Not Go Back” video campaign

In collaboration with the NHS, YouTube has rolled out a video campaign with the tagline: “Let’s Not Go Back” to remind its core 18 to 34-year-old audience of the importance of being vaccinated through messaging that speaks to their personal experiences from a year in lockdown.

The campaign is running on YouTube, and on national billboards and bus stop advertising, and on social media. Collectively, these information panels have served over 400 billion impressions worldwide.

“We are delighted to have been able to support the NHS with our ‘Let’s Not Go Back’ campaign to encourage young people to get vaccinated. From billboards to bus stops, online and off, we reach young people wherever they are to raise awareness of the key role they have to play,” Ben McOwen Wilson, UK Managing Director at YouTube, said.

At a virtual roundtable, Facebook, Twitter, and Google committed to the principle that no company should profit from or promote false information about COVID-19 vaccines, to respond to flagged content more swiftly, and to work with authorities to promote scientifically accurate messages.


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