51 museums and libraries across United States, the US, have received between $1,500-$10,000 as grants to boost vaccine confidence among Americans.

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) have announced the recipients of the first round of funding for Communities for Immunity.

Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Communities for Immunity provides funding awards and support to museums and libraries engaging their communities to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence. As trusted community partners, museums and libraries play a critical role in building vaccine confidence and fighting the pandemic.

Establishing ‘Communities for Immunity’

“Congratulations to today’s award recipients and for their work to support COVID-19 response within their communities,” said American Library Association President Patty Wong. “Never before has access to information played such a vital role in the lives of library patrons. More than ever, accurate information regarding vaccines and other health information empowers communities to make informed choices. We hope that today’s funding will assist with efforts to save lives by stopping the spread of coronavirus through education and encouraging those most hesitant to receive the vaccine to look to their libraries for trusted information.”

$1,500 – $10,000 grants

Awards range from $1,500-$10,000 and programs have a broad range of scope. Examples of proposed programs include:

  • The Peale Museum in Baltimore, Maryland plans to expand existing storytelling programming by leveraging local and national experts on vaccine uptake to create a cohort of local youth to serve as “Ambassadors” who can engage their vaccine-hesitant peers on vaccine confidence and uptake.
  • The Galesburg (Illinois) Public Library will host Q+A sessions with health professionals, allowing attendees to elect to receive the vaccine at the end of the sessions, and create and staff a vaccine information booth where visitors can seek help to sign up to get a vaccine appointment.
  • The Virginia Nottoway Indian Circle and Square Foundation (Capron, Virginia) is presenting an informational session on COVID-19 vaccines during their annual pow-wow, held virtually this year due to the pandemic, and support a mobile vaccination van for local community members with raffle prizes for those who get vaccinated.

Awards will be provided to fifty-one museums, libraries, and tribal organizations serving urban, suburban, and rural populations across twenty-four states.

Boosting vaccine confidence

“We are thrilled by the response to Round One of Communities of Immunity, and we’re excited to support the work of more than 50 institutions across the country as they work to increase vaccine confidence in locally relevant, evidence-based ways,” said Christofer Nelson, President and CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers.

“This is a critical moment in the fight against the pandemic, and we are excited that so many communities will be hearing from their trusted museums and libraries about the safety, effectiveness, and importance of getting vaccinated.” Applications for the second round of funding from Communities for Immunity will open October 4, 2021, and awards will range from $1,500-$100,000.

Initiators of ‘Communities for Immunity’

Communities for Immunity is an initiative of the Association of Science and Technology CentersInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesAmerican Alliance of Museums, and the Network of the National Library of Medicine, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Association of African American Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, and the Urban Libraries Council.

Communities for Immunity builds on a number of earlier and ongoing efforts to activate engagement in vaccine confidence work, including REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), a research partnership between OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle; Vaccines & US, led by the Smithsonian and in collaboration with a range of partner organizations and individuals; Vaccinate with Confidence from the CDC; We Can Do This from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the It’s Up to You campaign led by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.

Learn more about Communities for Immunity.

This report was first published by ASTC.

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