British institutions the Premier League and the Beano, much loved author, artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy and social media platforms Facebook and Instagram are backing a new nationwide social media campaign launched by Government and the NHS for people to show their support for the vaccine roll out.
The new 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” when their time comes. Famous faces including iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes and actor Brian Blessed are among those set to join in with the campaign.
During the pandemic social media has been a vital tool for people to connect and share updates with their loved ones. The new collection of graphics will allow people to celebrate getting the vaccine with their family, friends and followers and say thank you to the hard work of our NHS heroes.
The designs launched today include artwork featuring the NHS, the Premier League, British favourite the Beano and beloved author, artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy, who have all helped create images for those that wish to show their support for the vaccine rollout.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:
“It’s truly remarkable how quickly we are meeting our vaccine rollout targets and so protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities. The pace and progress of the rollout is testament to the way such a huge team has pulled together to support each other through this pandemic, and the tremendous national effort of our NHS workers, volunteers, local partners and the armed forces.
“We know people are turning to social media more than ever to stay in touch with family and friends. These new graphics will make it easy for people to share their support for the jab and thank the NHS – whether that’s to mark the pivotal moment that they get their vaccine, or pledge to get it when it’s their turn.
“It’s been inspiring to hear the stories of people getting their jab across all four corners of the UK and it’s vital we keep up this momentum.”
The range of new Facebook frames and Instagram GIFs will be ready to use on social media from today and will also be available in 13 languages from Monday so that people from communities all across the UK can support the campaign. The campaign aims to reach tens of millions of people, across the UK as the roll out continues over the next few months. These will be the first in a series of graphics created for a range of platforms that will launch over the coming months.
The roll out of the covid vaccine is the largest medical deployment in UK history. Over 16 million people have now received their first dose of the vaccine across the UK and this week people in priority groups 5 and 6 started to receive their jabs as the roll out expands further.
NHS England’s primary care director, and London GP Nikki Kanani said:
“I’ve seen first-hand the enthusiasm for being protected when vaccinating people against coronavirus, and it’s great people have a new way of showing support for the rollout online – it’s vital everyone is confident to have the vaccine when it is their turn to do so.
“Vaccines are safe, simple and effective, and word of mouth is a great way of communicating that message so that our friends, family, and loved ones are encouraged to take up the jab.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said:
“Throughout the pandemic, Premier League clubs and players have been proud to provide a wide range of support to local communities, the NHS and other frontline workers – from direct financial contributions to providing facilities for medical use and helping vulnerable members of society. We are pleased to be able to extend this support and help promote important messaging around the vaccine programme.”
Charlie Mackesy said:
“The vaccination programme has brought hope to many, and I’m happy to help people mark the moment they get the vaccine and give thanks to our wonderful NHS.”
As well as promoting the new campaign, Facebook and Instagram have worked closely with the NHS and government throughout the pandemic to help direct people to accurate information and advice, and to do more to identify and take action to remove incorrect claims about the virus.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:
“We’ve been supporting the NHS and the UK Government throughout the pandemic by directing over 10million people to their websites and sharing vital information within our Facebook COVID-19 Hub. We’re promoting these unique profile frames and GIFs to all UK Facebook and Instagram users to raise vital vaccine confidence and we’re giving free advertising credits to the NHS so they can reach the public with their campaign.
“I got my vaccine this week and feel proud and grateful to the NHS for all their hard work so I want to show my support in whatever way I can. It only takes a minute to change your profile picture – why not give it a go today!”
The UK’s vaccination programme will be extended to more groups in the coming months, with the Government aiming to offer the vaccine to everyone over 50 by May, and all adults by September.