UK unveils vaccine publicity blitz aimed at under-50s
The UK government launches a new campaign Monday urging under-50s to get vaccinated against coronavirus, as it shifts to the second stage of its so far successful jabs drive.
The health ministry said the TV, radio, social media and billboard campaign -- branded "every vaccination gives us hope" -- would showcase the biggest inoculation effort in British history by featuring health workers and volunteers as well as immunised people.
Private- and public-sector organisations will also pitch in, like the Royal Mail public postal system, which will apply a special postmark to stamped mail between May 5 and 7.
The campaign will be launched as the government continues gradually easing months-old lockdown measures, after Britain met its mid-April deadline to offer a first dose to all over-50s.
Nearly 34 million people -- almost two-thirds of the adult population -- has now received an initial shot, with officials aiming to have offered all adults one by August.
After early struggles to reach ethnic minority groups, their uptake tripled in the two months to April 7, from 1.89 million to 5.78 million, the health ministry said.
Initially one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe by the pandemic, with 4.4 million cases and almost 128,000 deaths, the speedy vaccine campaign is estimated to have saved more than 10,000 lives in Britain between December and March.
Analysis by the Office for National Statistics and Oxford University shows that infections fell by 65 percent after first vaccine doses, rising further after the second shot.