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How we’re supporting COVID-19 vaccine education

  • By Dr. Garth Graham
  • Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships, YouTube
  • Mar.18.2021
YouTube is committed to leveraging our platform’s reach (2B+ monthly logged-in viewers) and the diversity of the YouTube creator community, to help make the science of COVID-19 vaccines easy to understand and more accessible to people all over the world.

This is a pivotal moment in history and in public health, and we are deeply invested in ensuring we meet the moment as the platform where the world comes to watch and learn.”

For months, we have all been focused on the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. Now that effective vaccines have been approved by many health authorities around the world, the focus has shifted toward two new challenges: ensuring access to vaccines for everyone, and ensuring that as many people as possible actually get vaccinated when it is offered. 

 

As we’ve discovered throughout the pandemic, effective communication is a crucial part of improving public health. When it comes to our global vaccination efforts, building confidence and trust in these new vaccines will be the difference maker that ends the pandemic and allows a return to normal life. 


YouTube is committed to leveraging our platform’s reach (2B+ monthly logged-in viewers) and the diversity of the YouTube creator community, to help make the science of COVID-19 vaccines easy to understand and more accessible to people all over the world. This is a pivotal moment in history and in public health, and we are deeply invested in ensuring we meet the moment as the platform where the world comes to watch and learn. 

 

We will do this in three ways: First, we’ll continue to raise up authoritative information from Local Health Authorities and community-based health organizations. Second, we are investing in a new, multimillion-dollar campaign to address vaccine hesitancy in countries around the world. And lastly, we will build on our success to-date in connecting our creators with trusted health experts to reimagine how vaccine information is shared.

info panels

Highly visible information from local health authorities

 

Since March 2020, we have worked closely with more than 85 local health authorities and public health experts across the world, and have created highly visible methods of sharing information from public health authorities across YouTube. We’re continuing these efforts as the pandemic evolves to share information about the development, safety and efficacy of the vaccines.  All of this is making an impact -- our authoritative partner content and COVID-19 information panels on YouTube have been viewed 400B times, making them an important source of authoritative information. 


In addition to these efforts to share vaccine information to a broad audience, we have also sharpened our focus on communities who are most at-risk and most in need of this critical — and in some cases — life-saving public health information.  

 

We are working with a wide range of partners who have experience and expertise in public health communication with key at-risk groups, to help create, amplify and promote their campaigns on YouTube, including the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Greater Than COVID video campaign, featuring their series for Black America  and two upcoming series that seek to reach both the Latinx community and low-income rural communities across America; and the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 and Black Doctor Org video series to help answer top questions from the Black community about COVID and vaccines.


New campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy

 

We’re excited to share today that we will be working with the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine towards an upcoming global campaign that will feature the personal stories of people getting vaccinated and help to remind us of all we have to look forward to as a vaccinated world recovers from the pandemic.

YouTube is also working with Global Citizen on a global special, airing in May 2021, that will focus on overcoming vaccine hesitancy and ensuring equitable distribution. Additional details of this global special will be announced in the coming weeks. 


To date, more than 60+ of these collaboration videos have been completed, which have received more than 65M views.”

Reimagining ways to share public health information 

 

People come to YouTube because of the creators and artists who they have developed connections with, and we believe creators have an important role to play in helping public health experts to reimagine the ways in which health information has traditionally been shared. 

 

That’s why we’re expanding our efforts to connect influential creators and artists with relatable, trusted scientists and public health experts for thoughtful, science-based but ultimately engaging and compelling videos that will answer the questions that are top of mind for each creator’s unique audience. To date, more than 60+ of these collaboration videos have been completed, which have received more than 65M views. We’re building on the success of conversations like the ones between Dr. Fauci and Monica, CDC officer TIa Rogers and Asia Jackson, and Andy Slavitt and Jim Gaffigan, to connect with more audiences, ranging from rural and farming communities to family vloggers.  

 

In fact, YouTube creators have been so successful in reaching their audiences with COVID-19 health messages that President Emmanuel Macron of France issued a challenge to creators Carlito and McFly that if they could create a video about COVID safety that reached 10M views, he would invite them to the Elysée Palace for a Q&A. Their video, a hilarious musical tribute to COVID safety measures, hit 10M views in just three days, showing how a creative approach can share helpful information in ways that are relatable, digestible and easily accessible.

Dr. Garth Graham

Dr. Garth Graham

 

Additionally, we have a large and growing community of YouTube creators who are also clinicians. These creators are an invaluable part of our ecosystem and have large audiences who depend on them for credible information about a number of health questions, including COVID-19 vaccination. 

 

We’re also continuing to rigorously enforce our policies against misinformation related to COVID-19. To-date, we have removed over 850K videos for violating these policies, including more than 30K since the last quarter of 2020 that specifically violated our policy on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. 

 

With the effects of the pandemic still being felt around the world, we’re constantly evolving our priorities to meet the changing needs of our global community. This is the first step in our vaccination education work with much more in the works for the coming months. 




“Our work at the Vaccine Confidence Project is focused on monitoring and identifying the levels of public confidence and trust in vaccination -- work that has been brought into sharp relief with the rollout of new COVID-19 vaccines. We are excited to collaborate with YouTube on a global education campaign to help address vaccine hesitancy and help to remind us all of what we have to look forward to as a vaccinated world recovers from the pandemic." (Professor Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project)