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Some of the popular social media platforms like Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube have come forward and partnered with the government in the Covid19 vaccination drive.

The activity in support with the NHS’s ‘every vaccination gives us hope’ campaign encourages younger people to get their vaccine and join those who have already received their jabs.

For the Snapchat users in the UK, they can use NHS stickers, a filter, and an augmented reality lens that reads: ‘I’ve had my vaccine’  to share on their accounts.

Snapchat is also hosting a series of question and answer sessions with medical experts on the prime minister’s Snapchat account. The most recent took place on Saturday, June 19, with Dr Kiren Collison, interim deputy medical director, Primary Care for NHS England.

Snapchat 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. People looking for ‘Covid-19’, ‘vaccine’, ‘NHS’ and ‘vaccination’, will have access to expert NHS resources on the vaccine to make sure they are well informed, build confidence and tackle misinformation.

Ed Couchman, UK regional general manager, Snapchat, said: “With Snapchat playing a key part in 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.

“It is great to be expanding our in-app health and wellbeing support portal with NHS resources about the vaccine and to host question and answer sessions with key government officials from the Prime Minister’s official Snap Star account.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted that Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube, some of the most influential social media platforms, are coming together to support the biggest and most successful vaccine effort in NHS history.”

Other than Snapchat, the community network platform Reddit too hosted two live ‘ask me anything’ sessions on its coronavirus forum, featuring experts such as Dr Amalina Bakri. Reddit will continue to host such sessions 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.

In collaboration with the NHS, YouTube too 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 currently running on YouTube, on national billboards and bus stop advertising, and on social media. Collectively, these information panels have served over 400 billion impressions worldwide.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “This is another incredible asset to our vaccination programme, which is already saving lives. The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and we have made incredible progress so far with more than 4 in 5 adults receiving at least one dose and all adults being invited.”

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.

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

Earlier this year, it was announced that Facebook and Instagram are backing a new nationwide social media campaign launched by the government and the NHS for people to show their support for the vaccine roll out. The initiative allows users to update their profiles with a range of specially-designed profile frames and graphics. People can use these to show ‘I’ve had my vaccine’ or make a pledge that ‘I will get my vaccine’.

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