The video platform noted it can help the NHS reach the campaign's intended audience since 98 percent of British individuals aged 18 to 34 use YouTube each month. Thus, the site worked with content creators to encourage the cohort to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in an easier, more accessible and more understandable way.
Videos in the campaign featured online personalities such as Leena Norms and Robbie Lyle of the AFTV YouTube channel appearing with health experts. The personalities and medical professionals shared health information with viewers in "digestible and engaging ways." One such video had Lyle make this remark: "The quicker the country is vaccinated, the quicker life will return to normal."
Prior to the videos, YouTube already included COVID-19 information panels that appear on videos and search results about the disease. These panels linking to global and local health officials are also displayed on the platform's home page. According to YouTube, the COVID-19 information panels have appeared more than 400 billion times.
YouTube U.K. Managing Director Ben McOwen Wilson expressed hope that the "light-hearted" campaign will ensure people get "the best information on [COVID-19] vaccines." He told the BBC that he wanted to avoid young people feeling ambivalent over vaccinations.
Meanwhile, NHS England Medical Director of Primary Care Dr. Nikita Kanani welcomed YouTube's support toward the immunization drive. "We want to make sure that everyone, including [the] younger generations, have any barriers removed that may stop them from taking the vaccine. [Thus,] it is great to have support from platforms such as YouTube to reassure people that the vaccine is safe, simple and effective," she said.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr. Jonathan Van-Tam lauded the NHS for its "excellent job" of vaccinating more than 35 million people with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. He said: "Younger adults will soon be offered their vaccines. I encourage everyone to get [inoculated] when eligible so we can stay on top of this virus, protect those most at risk and get back to a normal life."
Kanani echoed Van-Tam's comments when she urged younger Britons to get vaccinated. "NHS staff [members] have pulled out all the stops to deliver the success of the vaccine program so far, and I urge everyone to book … a vaccine [appointment] when you are eligible," she said. (Related: U.K. to deploy door-to-door covid vaccine "hit squads.")
Currently, vaccines are available to Britons 38 years old and above in England. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the doses would soon be made available to Britons 35 and older. The U.K. government has set a goal of offering a first COVID-19 vaccine dose to every adult in the country by the end of July.
YouTube's Let's Not Go Back campaign with the NHS is a subtle approach it has adopted to promote COVID-19 vaccines. But the video platform has also exercised its wanton censorship powers to suppress any views that go against its stance on vaccines.
Back in October 2020, the video platform announced it would take down videos with supposed "misinformation" about COVID-19 vaccines. A Reuters report said YouTube would remove content going against guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health officials. Prior to the announcement, YouTube said it was already taking down misleading content about the disease itself.
In an email, the site elaborated that it would take down any videos with claims that COVID-19 vaccines can cause death or infertility. Videos claiming that vaccines contain microchips for tracking people would also be removed. However, a YouTube spokesman later clarified to Reuters that videos centering on "broad discussions" about the vaccine would be exempt from the removal.
WHO Digital Solutions Manager Andy Pattison told the news outlet that the global health body meets with the YouTube policy team on a weekly basis. He added that the meetings involve discussions of content trends and potentially problematic videos. According to Pattison, YouTube's announcement on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation served as encouragement for the WHO. (Related: YouTube deletes pro-life news site's channel for coronavirus 'misinformation'.)