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Vaccine buses and Instagram influencers could help teenagers get jabbed

Vaccine buses and Instagram influencers could help teenagers get jabbed
New government campaign urging young people not to ‘miss out’ on clubbing by getting jab

Ministers are reportedly considering deploying vaccine buses to big events and paying social media influencers to encourage teenagers to get jabbed against Covid.

Celebrities such as former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, an A&E doctor who has a large online following, could be paid thousands of pounds to put out the public health messages to people aged 16 and 17-years-old.

Teens using popular apps Instagram and TikTok would be targeted if the plan goes ahead, the i newspaper reported.

Last year, reality TV stars were paid as much as an estimated £10,000 per post to promote the use of the NHS Test and Trace system during the height of the pandemic. The government claimed that more than 7 million young people were reached in this way at a time when the public was wary of sharing personal details with the test and trace service.

Mobile vaccination centres could also be sent to events such as the upcoming Premier League games, festivals, and concerts, so teenagers can get their jabs on-the-spot without the hassle of having to book an appointment for the future, it has also been reported.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health released a new video campaign on Friday in the hope that it would convince young people to get jabbed.

It urges young people to not “miss out” on the chance to go out socialising and clubbing, and shows an image of people enjoying themselves at a crowded live music event.

It advises the unvaccinated teenagers to book their appointment or to find their nearest NHS walk-in centre.

It comes after the government announced earlier this week that about 1.4 million 16 and 17-year-olds would start to be offered the Covid-19 vaccine from later this month, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation changed its official guidance to the government.

The plans for social media public health messages and and vaccine buses are hoped to dispel teenagers’ uncertainties about getting the vaccine, or their concerns about how to get one by making the process as easy as possible.

About a third of people aged 18 to 29 have yet to be vaccinated against Covid.

The Liberal Democrats have suggested that the Tory government should “look at” the possibility of offering cash to young people who have been double-jabbed as an incentive.

It comes after US president Joe Biden last week promoted the idea of paying people $100 – about £70 – to get inoculated.

Just half of the US population is vaccinated while cases are rising as a result of the virus’ more-contagious Delta variant.