Ministers work on 'Listen to Nan' campaign to persuade young people to get Covid vaccines

Christopher Hope
·3-min read
Ministers hope to use the success of the rollout to impress on young adults the need to get a jab - Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Ministers hope to use the success of the rollout to impress on young adults the need to get a jab - Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Grandparents and parents are to be pressed into action to persuade younger adults to get vaccinated as the Government prepares to double the rate of jabs to hit its July target for all over-18s to be inoculated.

Ministers are working on a campaign dubbed "Listen to Nan" to urge pensioners and parents who have been inoculated to ensure that members of their families are also jabbed.

The news emerged after the Queen made a rare intervention last week, saying that having a Covid vaccine "didn't hurt at all" as she encouraged those who are hesitant to "think about other people rather than themselves".

One minister said younger adults were more likely to listen to older members of their family than any Government messaging or advertisements.

The source said: "We are really keen for young people to take the jab. We have had unbelievably high penetration rates. Will they step forward in the same way? The most influential people in a person's decision whether to take a jab or not are the people that they love, and the people that they are with.

"The fact that grandparents have taken a jab means that parents are more likely to take it and the kids are more likely to take it. That matters much more than anything else."

Ministers are hoping to build on the success of the rollout, which has seen nearly nine out of 10 people agree to be vaccinated, and use that to impress on young adults the need to get a jab.

Another source added: "You are much more likely to listen to Nan saying 'come on, get your vaccine'."

The plan will most probably need to be deployed to reach the 18 to 30-year-olds in the final group of adults to be vaccinated before the end of July.

The rate of vaccinations is set to surge this week and next as the NHS starts to give second doses to people who have waited 12 weeks since their first.

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, described the step change in the programme in the next few weeks as like "starting a supermarket in a month and then expanding it by 20 per cent week".

He told the Reaction website that he was now planning to "double the vaccination rate" to hit the July target for all over-18s to have received a jab, saying: "We will see an uplift in March in terms of that rate of vaccination to be able to hit that mid-April target [to vaccinate all the over-50s].

"If you do the maths, if you are having to do second doses as of March and continue the pace of first doses you have got to double the vaccination rate.

"It is like standing up a national supermarket chain in about a month and then growing it 20 per cent week on week to get an infrastructure that is able to deploy at a rate that we knew we were going to need to get to. We had to build our infrastructure so when the vaccines come we can deploy at speed."

The Government has already got behind a plan for community champions to encourage take up of the vaccine among BAME groups .