NHS teams up with famous TikTok medics to encourage young adults to get their COVID-19 jab 

This weekend, TikTok will host a pop up event at a London NHS vaccination centre where attendees will get the chance to not only get vaccinated, but also meet TikTok-famous NHS medics to answer any questions they have, create TikToks with the stars and walk away with a TikTok branded tote bag.

The NHS doctors, who have amassed millions of followers sharing factual medical content on the vaccine and other health issues on TikTok, use their platforms to improve the health and wellbeing of their followers. Some of the doctors attending the pop up event this weekend include Dr Karan Rajan (4.3m followers) and Dr Emeka Okorocha (242k followers).

The pop-up event will take place at the Westfield vaccination centre in Stratford shopping centre on Saturday 2 October from 10am-2pm.

There will also be an opportunity for people to speak to NHS health professionals about the vaccine to resolve any concerns they may have, including around side effects, pregnancy, fertility, and breastfeeding.

Across England, more than half (54%) of 16-17 year olds have received their first dose of the vaccine and over three quarters (75.4%) of all 18-29-year olds. In London alone, nearly half of the younger cohort – 16 and 17 year olds – have received their first dose (over 48%) and this pop up event hopes to encourage the remaining to come down to get vaxxed.

In a recent national survey of 2,000 16-17 year olds, just over a third (34%) say that they got the vaccine so that they are less likely to miss out on school or college. And, when asked what they would be most upset about missing out on due to not being vaccinated or catching COVID-19, attending school or college and going out at the weekend topped the list.

Of those that haven’t had their vaccine but intend to book it, almost 2 in 5 (37%) say it’s because they just haven’t got round to it yet and 22% keep forgetting to book it.

Getting vaccinated as soon as possible is particularly important as many young people enter back into education or the workplace, making them more susceptible to easy transmission of viruses like COVID-19. COVID-19 can have a lasting and long-term impact on younger people, with more suffering from conditions like long COVID.

Those with questions about the COVID vaccine will have the opportunity to put them to the TikTok doctors through a TikTok LIVE event on the day, where the doctors will answer their questions live from the centre.

Medical Director for the NHS in London, Dr Vin Diwakar said:

It is fantastic that over 1.2 million young Londoners have had the vaccine – that’s enough to fill Wembley stadium 13 times – but it is vital that everyone who should be vaccinated gets vaccinated to protect themselves from the harm coronavirus can cause as well as reduce transmission to more vulnerable friends and family.

“The vaccine is effective, and I would urge anyone eligible, especially those 16- and 17-year olds who have just started in education or training, to get their life-saving jab.”

Rich Waterworth, General Manager, UK & EU, TikTok said:

“Since the start of the pandemic, we recognised that we had an important role to play at TikTok in making sure our community could get trusted information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.  

“On top of our efforts to promote authoritative information and work with trusted experts, our amazing medical creators have used our platform to enable people to make informed decisions about the vaccine  

“Keeping our community safe is a role we take very seriously and we’re proud to be supporting the NHS with this latest partnership.” 

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said:

“With the phenomenal progress of the vaccine rollout, the hard work from NHS staff and initiatives such as this, it’s never been easier to get your vaccine.

“Thank you to TikTok for supporting the vaccine effort. I urge everyone to get the jab at the earliest opportunity.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“The scale of London’s vaccine delivery has been an incredible achievement and every day we are seeing how vital it is in preventing serious illness and protecting our health service.  

“We want Londoners to have the best possible protection and will continue to work closely together to find innovative ways to reach young Londoners. 

“I continue to urge everyone to book their appointment to get vaccinated or go to any of the many walk-in clinics as soon as possible to help protect yourself and others.” 

The largest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history, across England more than 700,000 16 and 17 year olds have already been jabbed and the National Booking System (NBS) opened up to them last week.

More than 78 million vaccinations have been delivered and nearly 9 in 10 adults have had their first dose since the NHS in England made history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.