YouTube launch new campaign for young people to get Covid vaccine

17 May 2021, 14:46

The new YouTube campaign will run across social media and in other outlets
The new YouTube campaign will run across social media and in other outlets. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

A new campaign has been launched on YouTube an attempt to persuade young people to get the Covid jab when they become eligible.

YouTube's managing director in the UK, Ben McOwen Wilson, has said the platform has a "role to play" in encouraging young people to take the vaccine.

The tag line for the campaign is 'Let's Not Go Back', and it will be shared across a number of their outlets and social media. This comes as vaccines are set to be rolled out to those 35 years old and over within the next week.

Lockdown easing LIVE: Follow the latest with our live blog

Read more: 'Wear masks or you may end up at the police station' - Warning as Brits head to Portugal

Mr Wilson revealed that the platform reaches 98% of 16 to 34-year-olds in the country.

He said: "What our campaign is around is a light-hearted way to ensure that they're reminded to inform themselves around what the vaccine is, what the risks of the vaccine are, and the best way for them to move forward through that vaccination process and we're delighted to work with the NHS on that."

YouTube have collaborated with the NHS for the campaign
YouTube have collaborated with the NHS for the campaign. Picture: PA

Social media platforms have been criticised for allowing the spread of misinformation around the Covid vaccine in recent months.

Mr Wilson said that the platform had removed 900,000 videos since February 2020 that had breached policies they had introduced on the Coronavirus.

Explained: All you need to know about England's Covid rules from Monday

Explained: Scotland lockdown measures relaxed on 17 May - all you need to know

Explained: Six people can meet inside pubs and restaurants in Wales from May 17

The UK boss explained that YouTube's policies "mirror both the World Health Organisation and, in the UK, the NHS's view on vaccines".

"Our view is that they are the authoritative voice and it is against their views on vaccines - their efficacy, harmful side effects - that we will enforce policies and remove content."

Despite getting involved in campaigns and commissioning content while blocking any scepticism appearing on the site, Mr Wilson defended the company from suggestions that they were operating like a traditional media company.

He also said: "...We've seen people on our platform, both users and creators, throughout the pandemic showing enormous resilience and incredible creativity, and those creators have been coming forward wanting to speak to their audiences - in voices that those audiences understood - combined with the authority of the NHS, or other health organisations, to deliver sensible advice to their listeners and that's really what our campaign is about today."