Vaccine Confidence Campaign

Student Pharmacist administering a vaccine

Building Vaccine Confidence through Community Engagement

Toolkit for Events

In March 2021 the American Pharmacists Association selected AACP as a partner on a project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*, to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and to stimulate vaccine confidence. This project was created to empower pharmacists, as trusted messengers, to reach out to their patients and communities with resources and tools created by the CDC.

APhA Vaccine Confident logo - Pharmacists strengthening vaccine confidence in their patients and communities

AACP was selected because our colleges and schools of pharmacy represented a unique channel for community engagement. In addition, faculty and students had already participated in other events and, in most cases, were able to administer vaccines.

Members can learn more about the 2021 Vaccine Confidence Campaign events, and how to implement these events in your communities.

*This project was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — CoAg number 1 NU50CK000576-01-00. The CDC is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource do not necessarily represent the CDC or HHS, and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.



Our Strategy Focused On

  • Identifying people who could be encouraged to become vaccinated.

    In December 2020, according to findings from the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, many Americans were unsure about COVID vaccines. They expressed concern about the speed of vaccine development and the effect on quality, as well as fears that the vaccines would not work. In addition, people in traditionally underserved communities – Black, Latino and indigenous populations – expressed concerns based on historic racism and racial disparities in healthcare.

    The study also emphasized the importance of trusted messengers – physicians, nurses and pharmacists were the most trusted – engaging directly with their communities. These healthcare professionals could combat disinformation and set the record straight, as well as build public trust in the science and facilitate informed decision-making.

    With this information, AACP sought to target people who were unsure about vaccines or waiting to become vaccinated – the “moveable middle” – particularly in rural areas or among underserved communities, who could be persuaded to change their minds regarding the vaccine if they received the right messages from trusted sources.

  • Participating in large-scale community events

    We selected five communities, based on vaccine hesitancy rates as of March 2021, with proximity to an AACP member institution. We researched large-scale events where faculty, staff and students could speak with attendees, answer questions, provide information and, where available, provide vaccines or partner with other vaccine providers.

  • Developing and implementing event tactics and timelines in five pilot markets.

    We spoke with event organizers and coordinated planning, meeting regularly with faculty and staff for each event. We conducted media outreach, as well as media training for designated faculty spokespersons for. We coordinated social media, incorporating posts from each event into AACP’s Pharmacists for Healthier Lives social media campaign.