building vaccine confidence | An initiative to strengthen public trust in vaccines | #BuildingVaxConfidence

University of Pennsylvania

This project employed a multi-level approach to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence among students, faculty, staff, and alumni and leveraged community partnerships to promote COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia’s predominantly racial/ethnic minority communities. Program leaders supported trainings for nursing students through Philly Counts’ COVID-10 Vaccine Champion Training to become trusted messengers equipped with the knowledge and tools to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Penn nursing students who were trained as vaccine champions were paired with Philly Count’s team members to go door-to-door to promote the vaccine across Philadelphia. In addition, the nursing school supported the training of teen vaccine champions in the local community through The Philly Teen Vaxx Ambassadors. The school also partnered with Dragon Tree Media and WethePeople Stage to employ storytelling as a tool to develop a deep understanding of human emotions and motivations related to vaccine uptake. Through this collaboration, project leaders produced live and virtual events tailored to teens and adults, as well as videos, podcasts, and TikToks anchored in the storytelling of vaccinated nurses and young adults.

Learning Opportunities

two students sitting at vaccine information boothStudent and Faculty Vaccine Hesitancy Motivational Interviewing Trainings: The school of nursing created an one-hour live moderated online motivational interviewing training. Components included information on local COVID-19 vaccine rates, components of motivational interviewing, break-out sessions to practice motivational interviewing, and Q & A. Participants received an informational hand-out summarizing motivational interviewing techniques to reinforce learning and completed pre- and post-surveys to assess knowledge gained from trainings.

School at a Glance

Map of Pennsylvania with a star marking Philadelphia

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type of School: Private University
  • Partners:
    • Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance (Philly CEAL)
    • ​VaxUPPhillyFamilies
    • Philly Teen Vaxx Ambassadors
  • Faculty Contact: Dr. Melanie Kornides