A nationwide advertising campaign to urge people to accept offers of Covid-19 booster vaccines and flu shots is launched on Friday as the government seeks to tackle criticism that its rollout is too slow.
The ads will run on TV, print media and online and tell the public to “boost your immunity this winter” by receiving the flu shot, a Covid-19 booster, or both depending on age and conditions. pre-existing health conditions.
They represent people surrounded by protective blue and yellow auras to represent the protection conveyed by vaccines.
Michelle, a nurse who stars in TV commercials, said: “As a frontline worker for the NHS, I have seen with my own eyes the devastating impact Covid and the flu can have in winter. Vaccines offer the best protection and I hope this campaign will convey the importance of offering your vaccine. “
Mary Ramsay of the UK Health Security Agency added: “This is the first winter that Covid-19 and seasonal flu are expected to circulate together, putting more lives at risk. Vaccines are important to protect against both diseases. Please make an appointment if you are eligible for the flu shot, or get your Covid-19 booster as soon as prompted – which is due six months after a second dose. “
Around 200,000 booster doses per day are currently administered by the NHS, which is significantly lower than the number of doses given at the height of the initial rollout earlier this year.
Health bosses say they are constrained by the need to wait at least six months after the second dose before offering a booster, and stress that more than a quarter of people to whom the booster has been offered have not. still taken.
There are also questions about the progress of vaccine roll-out to under-16s, with just one in six children aged 12 to 15 in England having been vaccinated as part of the school immunization program.
On Friday, the national immunization reservation service is open for the first time to those under 16, with appointments available from Saturday. Parents will be encouraged to accompany their children when they receive a jab and their consent will be requested prior to the procedure.
Dr Nikki Kanani, one of the leaders of the NHS deployment, said: ‘As we head into the mid-term of October, the NHS Covid-19 vaccination program is opening vaccination centers for 12-15 year olds as another way to get their vaccine – if they’ve already received their vaccine or been invited by their school, they don’t have to do anything.