YouTube COVID-19 PSA aims to inform young people about vaccine facts

The program pairs up celebrities and health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci to talk about COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
By Laura Lovett
02:14 pm
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Photo Credit: Getty Images/Luis Alvaraez

YouTube is pairing health experts up with an array of celebrities to talk about COVID-19 vaccines as part of its new public service announcement. This new PSA is born out of a collaboration between YouTube, the Vaccine Confidence Project and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and it's focused on providing people with reliable information about COVID-19 immunizations.

Google's video platform will focus on giving users information about how the vaccine was developed and tested – and what users can expect post-vaccination. As part of the new initiative, the company will run videos on its own platform, paid TV, radio and social media through July.

"Hearing inaccurate information can breed doubt in someone’s mind, and that’s why trusted scientific and medical organizations are partnering with YouTube to make sure credible information is reaching people in accessible and culturally relevant ways," Dr. Garth Graham, director and global head of Healthcare and Public Partnerships at YouTube, wrote in a blog post.

According to YouTube, the PSA will zero in on the 18 to 34 demographic. Graham said the PSA will highlight "diverse voices who bring unique perspectives and experiences." For example, the company pairs up Grammy Award-winning artist MONICA with White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci to talk about vaccines and COVID-19.

THE LARGER TREND

While the COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country, there is still a great deal of hesitancy. According to the Kaiser Family Fund COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, 61% of adults over the age of 18 want to get the vaccine ASAP or have already had the shot. That number is lower among 18- to 24-year-olds (49%) and 30- to 49-year-olds (54%). Individuals over age 65 were the ones most likely to report wanting the vaccine or already having it, at 82%.

The research also found some discrepancies across demographics. The data showed that 64% of white people, 61% of Hispanics and 55% of Black Americans wanting the vaccine ASAP or already having the vaccine. Democrats were also more likely to want the vaccine than Republicans or Independents. However, suburban and rural dwellers reported the same amount of hesitancy.

To date, 231 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, according to the CDC. In fact, 42.5% of the total population has received at least one dose, and 28.9% have been fully vaccinated. However, COVID-19 is far from eradicated.

The CDC has reported on 380,840 cases within the last seven days. Since the virus began, there have been more than 31 million cases and 569,272 deaths in the U.S.

THE LARGER TREND

This isn't the first time big tech has been involved with public health initiatives and education. In 2021 Google, Facebook and Apple began to connect users to a COVID-19 Vaccine Finder tool.

Health is a new focus for YouTube. In January, the company announced a new team aimed at pushing for more high-quality, credible medical content on its platform, including content aimed at laypeople as well as physicians.

The team is led by Graham, who is the former U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health.

ON THE RECORD

"Younger people around the world are key to the success of global vaccine programs. But, given the lower burden of disease this group has faced, they may be less motivated to get vaccinated," Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, said in a statement.

"This campaign seeks to inspire us all by reminding us of the things we love and can't wait to get back to."

 

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