Britain’s Olympic heroes are to be approached to promote the Government’s Covid vaccination campaign in an attempt to drive uptake among the young.
The Telegraph understands that officials hope the most famous faces from Team GB at the games in Japan can be convinced to take part.
It is the latest attempt to get around three million people aged 18 to 30 who have yet to come forward for a Covid jab to change their minds.
The move raises the possibility of gold medal-winning diver Tom Daley and other prominent British athletes delivering a message to young supporters about the importance of vaccination.
In recent weeks, ministers have grown concerned that young people have not been taking up vaccine doses as fast as hoped. It has led to a number of initiatives to encourage them to get jabbed, some building on communications work throughout the vaccine rollout and others being new ideas.
Boris Johnson’s recent conversion to vaccine passports, which has seen him warn that they will be needed for nightclubs and other large venues from late September, is driven in part by the figures.
It has been floated by government officials that Premier League football matches, concerts and university lectures could see vaccine requirements come the autumn. But Cabinet ministers have privately stressed that the vaccine passport plans could be shelved if enough young people get jabbed over the next two months.
Already a number of famous faces have sent messages promoting the importance of the vaccinations, with a deliberate focus on swaying younger Britons.
Gareth Southgate, the England football manager who led his team to the Euro 2020 final, recently posted a video on social media platforms hammering home the message.
Southgate said: "So don’t put it off any longer, go and get it done, we can open everything up, we can protect the people we need to protect and you guys will get your freedom back."
Online dating sites such as Tinder have also come up with innovative ways for users to show they have been vaccinated, after talks with Government officials.