For both the Census and now the COVID-19 vaccine, active engagement from trusted messengers has shown results and improved outcomes. Gettyimages

Vaccine Champion Training is coming to Philadelphia via Philly Counts


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An innovative strategy used to increase Census 2020 participation in underserved communities in Philadelphia is being adapted to the vital COVID-19 vaccination effort.

Through the Vaccine Champion Training Program, community leaders will be empowered with the most up-to-date knowledge about the vaccine to share with their friends, families and neighbors.

For both the Census and the vaccines, misinformation is rampant. Active engagement from trusted messengers has shown results and improved outcomes.

The first Vaccine Champions will be trained on March 18 at 6:00 PM. These 90-minute training sessions will be initially conducted in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Additional training in these languages and others spoken in the city will be offered over the coming weeks as more Philadelphians become eligible for vaccination. 

“Philly Counts is helping direct community engagement efforts around the COVID-19 vaccine, empowering community leaders to share information about the vaccine, as well as other critical public health guidance with their families and neighbors,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

The training covers topics such as:

  • General information about the vaccine and its safety
  • Information on translation services and privacy protection for immigrants, undocumented communities and individuals with limited English proficiency
  • Tips for a successful conversation addressing mistrust and disinformation

The Philly Counts-administered program is based on their Census Champions public education curriculum. 

Over 8,000 Census Champions were trained by Philly Counts and its volunteers between September 2019 and February 2020.

“The relationships Philly Counts established with its community partners provide an infrastructure that is being used now to ensure that every Philadelphia resident understands why they should consider being vaccinated,” Executive Director of Philly Counts Stephanie Reid said.

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