TikTok launches campaign urging users to get MMR jab

12 April 2024, 14:24

TikTok research
TikTok research. Picture: PA

It comes amid rising cases of measles in England.

TikTok has launched a special in-app page hosting authoritative content about the MMR vaccine and encouraging users to get vaccinated amid the current rise in measles cases in England.

The social media platform has launched the page under the hashtag #GrabAJab, and includes content from medical staff on the issue as well as links to the NHS website.

Coverage of the MMR started to decline following a 1998 report by Andrew Wakefield which falsely linked the jab with autism, according to a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) 2023 measles briefing document.

Even though the claim was discredited, and Wakefield was struck off the medical register, the vaccination programme took years to recover.

MMR vaccine coverage is the lowest it has been for more than a decade, with just 85% of youngsters having both doses of the jab before they start school aged five.

TikTok’s campaign follows a similar initiative launched in 2021 as part of efforts to share reliable information about Covid-19 vaccines.

Nikki Soo, digital safety and wellbeing public policy lead for Europe at TikTok, said: “At TikTok, we work to ensure reliable information is readily available to our community from trusted sources.

“That’s why today we’re launching an in-app hub with information about the MMR vaccine from NHS clinicians to provide authoritative information to millions of people across the UK.”

Steve Russell, NHS England’s national director for vaccinations and screening, said: “This is a great initiative by TikTok, sharing trusted content created by NHS clinicians to give people the reassurance and information they need to get the MMR vaccine.

“New data shows our catch-up campaign launched earlier in the year has been working, with almost a quarter more vaccinations delivered in the first three months of the year compared to 2023 and a four-fold increase in the number of jabs given to five to 25-year-olds – but we know there are still many people out there who have not had that vital protection against measles, a very dangerous infection.

“So, I would encourage anyone who is not up to date to contact your GP surgery or visit one of the many pop-up sites running in some of the most at-risk areas.”

By Press Association

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