Launch of a Snapchat filter to encourage young people to get boosted

The government has launched a Snapchat filter in a bid to motivate young people to get their Covid booster shots.

The filter on the popular social media platform is part of a new advertising campaign aimed at 18 to 34 year olds, whose uptake of the complementary vaccine is lagging behind other age groups.

Only 57% of this cohort in England received their booster, compared to more than 80% of eligible adults.

The filter, which features a rocket and the words “I had my Covid booster shot”, can be added to photos and videos posted on Snapchat from Friday.

Stickers are also available.

Viewers can tap a link in the filter to get more information about vaccines and where they can make an appointment.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “More than nine in 10 people over 50 have already received their supplement and we are calling on young people to play their part and be boosted now.

“Vaccines provide strong protection against serious Omicron illnesses and will help keep you and your loved ones safe.”

Dr Kishan Bodalia, frontline A&E doctor and DJ, said: “I know young people can often think they are invincible, but I see more and more young people in hospital with Covid-19, with the vast majority of people in the hospital not being vaccinated”.

The government previously teamed up with Snapchat, along with other social media giants Reddit, TikTok and YouTube, last summer to educate young people about vaccinations.

Snapchat’s Senior Director of International Public Policy, Stephen Collins, said: “With Snapchat reaching 75% of 13-34 year olds in the UK, we believe we can play a unique role in helping young people access information. accurate and reliable”.

He added, “We hope our new Snapchat vaccine reminder filter will encourage our community to protect themselves and others.”

The expanded vaccination campaign also featured pop-up sites in nightclubs, football stadiums and shopping centers operating alongside thousands of permanent NHS centres.

In 2020, the government agreed new measures with social media sites to limit the spread of false information.

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