The “first chapter” of a partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Vaccine Confidence Project, YouTube is launching a series of COVID-19 vaccine public service announcements. The ads will releasing in the United States today and will expand internationally in the coming weeks, based on local vaccine availability.
On YouTube’s channel, the company posted a dozen 16-second videos, as well as two 31-second clips (one in English, one in Spanish) and a longer compilation that linked them all together.
The messages urge people to get the vaccine so they can “get back to what you love,” citing reasons such as “because birthday songs,” “because roller coasters,” “because wedding receptions,” and “because everything.”
YouTube says the ads will run through July on its platform, as well as on television, radio, and paid social media posts, to reach Americans aged 18 to 34.
COVID-19 vaccine is available to all adults in the United States, and half of the adult population has received at least one dose. Vaccination rates, on the other hand, have slowed significantly in recent weeks.
The slowdown coincided with the lifting of a pause on the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it could also reflect the need to make vaccination more accessible and appealing to people who weren’t part of the initial rush of dedicated vaccine hunters.
According to YouTube, the campaign’s goal is to “ensure that people have access to reliable information about the vaccine, including how it was developed and tested, what they can expect when they get the vaccine, and how everyone plays a role in public health.”
Its blog links to previous videos with health experts about vaccines, but the new videos primarily focus on vaccines’ ability to restore “a more normal way of life.”
In recent years, social media platforms, including YouTube, have spent time reacting to anti-vaccination content on their platforms. As COVID-19 vaccines begin to be distributed in the United States, the Biden administration has encouraged social media platforms to spread information about the shots.
Earlier this month, Facebook added state-level vaccine information to its News Feed, and Twitter recently added a prompt with information from the World Health Organization and other public health organizations.