How to change your Facebook profile to show you've been vaccinated

Ellen Manning
·4 min read
 The NHS covid-19 Vaccine Centre in Wembley.
Several mass vaccination sites have been opened around England, as the government rolls out its coronavirus vaccination program. (Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
People will be able to update their social media profiles with their vaccine status as part of a new government initiative to show support for the roll-out. (Getty)

The government has launched a new social media drive that will allow people to add frames and graphics to their profiles saying they've either had the COVID vaccine, or plan to.

The initiative allows people to update their profiles with frames or graphics that show: "I've had my vaccine" or: "I will get my vaccine".

The campaign to encourage people to support the vaccine roll-out on social media is backed by a wide variety of institutions – from the Premier League to the Beano – as well as social media giants Facebook and Instagram.

As of 17 February, more than 16.4 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered in the UK as part of the government's mass vaccination programme.

But there have been concerns that the take-up for the vaccine is low among some ethnic minority groups.

The new campaign allows people to post images on their social media profiles. (gov.uk)
The new campaign allows people to post images on their social media profiles. (gov.uk)

The new range of Facebook frames and Instagram GIPHY stickers s are available to use from Friday and will be available from Monday in 13 languages in a bid to encourage people from communities across the UK to support the campaign.

British designer Zandra Rhodes and actor Brian Blessed are among those set to join in with the campaign, along with artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy.

To add a COVID-19 vaccine frame to your Facebook profile picture

  1. Open your profile in the Facebook app

  2. Click your profile picture

  3. Click ‘Add frame’

  4. Search for the ‘NHS Covid Vaccine’ frames and select the one you want to use

  5. Click ‘Use as Profile Picture’ to save

To use COVID-19 vaccine instagram stickers (from GIPHY) on your Instagram story

  1. Open instagram and add to your story – take a new picture or use a photograph or video of your choosing

  2. From your instagram story, tap the ‘add media’ button, or swipe up to add Stickers from GIPHY

  3. In the search bar, use the search term ‘NHS Covid Vaccine’ and select a sticker of your choosing (scroll through the options to find the one you want to use)

  4. Position this on your story image or video

  5. Use the hashtag #CovidVaccine if you wish, then post

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "It’s truly remarkable how quickly we are meeting our vaccine roll-out targets and so protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"The pace and progress of the roll-out is testament to the way such a huge team has pulled together to support each other through this pandemic, and the tremendous national effort of our NHS workers, volunteers, local partners and the armed forces.

Read more: Pubs' 10pm curfew had little effect on reducing spread of coronavirus, study suggests

"We know people are turning to social media more than ever to stay in touch with family and friends. These new graphics will make it easy for people to share their support for the jab and thank the NHS – whether that’s to mark the pivotal moment that they get their vaccine, or pledge to get it when it’s their turn.

"It’s been inspiring to hear the stories of people getting their jab across all four corners of the UK and it’s vital we keep up this momentum."

Watch: Minister 'concerned' by low vaccine take up

The campaign comes amid concerns around low take-up of the vaccine in some minority ethnic groups.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi last weekend warned that the 15% of people who were unlikely to take up the offer of a jab was 'heavily skewed' towards ethnic minority groups "especially Afro-Caribbean, black communities and of course other Asian and BAME communities".

He told Sky News: "If one particular community remains unvaccinated, then the virus will seek them out and it will go through that community like wildfire and that's not something any of us wish to see."

Commenting on the launch of the government's social media campaign on Friday, NHS England’s primary care director and London GP Nikki Kanani said: "I’ve seen first-hand the enthusiasm for being protected when vaccinating people against coronavirus, and it’s great people have a new way of showing support for the roll-out online – it’s vital everyone is confident to have the vaccine when it is their turn to do so.

"Vaccines are safe, simple and effective, and word of mouth is a great way of communicating that message so that our friends, family and loved ones are encouraged to take up the jab."

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, added: "We’ve been supporting the NHS and the UK government throughout the pandemic by directing over 10 million people to their websites and sharing vital information within our Facebook COVID-19 Hub.

"We’re promoting these unique profile frames and GIFs to all UK Facebook and Instagram users to raise vital vaccine confidence and we’re giving free advertising credits to the NHS so they can reach the public with their campaign."

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?