Adults in England over the age of 18 have been eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 since the 18th June this year. However, according to the latest data from Public Health England (PHE), uptake of the vaccine in younger groups already appears to be levelling off.
Younger people are more likely to be vaccine hesitant than older generations. This is partly because they believe they are at a lower risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19. People are often more hesitant about getting a vaccine if they feel that the disease to be prevented does not concern them.
This vaccination hesitancy is borne out in the latest vaccination figures, with more than 95% of people over the age of 80 having had their first Covid vaccine dose, compared with only 58.4% of those aged 18 to under 25 years old. COVID-19 case rates are also currently highest amongst people in their 20s.
Encouraging vaccination take-up amongst younger people
Encouraging as many young people as possible to get vaccinated is a vital part of controlling the spread of COVID-19. The Local Government Association suggests a range of behavioural strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination uptake. These include:
- Highlighting the pro-social benefits of vaccination – this can be particularly effective amongst younger people who are often more socially conscious.
- Highlighting the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 – young people are more likely to get vaccinated if they believe COVID-19 is serious. Highlighting the potential long-term consequences of the illness if they do contract it can be an effective way of encouraging vaccination uptake.
- Use trustworthy and relatable messengers – having messengers that young people can relate to and trust, such as social media influencers or famous sports people, can help to encourage younger people to get vaccinated.
- Make it as easy as possible to get vaccinated – setting up vaccination sites in convenient locations for young people can eliminate one of the barriers to getting vaccinated.
- Use financial incentives – offering a small reward for getting vaccinated can be an effective strategy. However, caution should be taken to ensure that people don’t perceive that this is being offered because getting vaccinated is risky or undesirable.
Using effective vaccination messaging
Along with the behavioural strategies already discussed, effective messaging is a vital part of spreading the pro vaccination message. Ensuring that this is designed for younger people and delivered through the appropriate channels will be vital to its success.
PHE have recently launched a campaign to encourage vaccination uptake amongst young people. This includes TV advertisements, social media messages and print and media advertisements specifically targeted to younger age groups.
We’ve just added a new ‘Let’s Get Vaccinated’ from this campaign to our Envisage Media library which features relatable messaging and imaging that younger people are more likely to engage. The video is available to users of our Envisage waiting room TV system now.
For more information about using Envisage waiting room TV and patient call system to share important messages with your patients, please contact our team on 0114 243 3896, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an existing Envisage user and would like help adding any content to your Envisage system then please contact our dedicated technical support team on 0114 399 0010, or email: email@example.com.