he Extension Collaboration for Immunization, Teaching, and Engagement (EXCITE) project was created to reduce vaccine hesitancy in rural and medically underserved communities. Funded by the CDC through an Interagency Agreement with USDA NIFA and a cooperative agreement with the Extension Foundation, the team has four goals: reduce hesitancy, increase
communication between populations and health systems, increase
accessibility to clinics and help implement public health programs.
The EXCITE teams were able to leverage the unique strengths of the Cooperative Extension System (CES) to respond to the global pandemic and deliver immunization education to their targeted audiences. Extension utilized its tools, knowledge, and connections to communities to reduce barriers to COVID-19 and adult vaccinations, improve communication between the community and healthcare systems, increase accessibility and acceptability of local clinics, and mobilize communities to implement health initiatives.
Unique Strength Highlighted: Providing factual (evidence-based) information in an understandable form and using multiple delivery methods to deliver information in order to reach their target audiences.
Providing factual (evidence-based) information in an understandable form was one of the most challenging aspects of the EXCITE project was that knowledge and information about COVID were rapidly changing. Using prior knowledge of their communities and partners, the EXCITE teams were able to create and distill information in many different formats and languages to meet their communities where they were at. All EXCITE projects demonstrate a quick response to a national crisis and put the information in ways that would reach their audiences.
After creating factual information in an understandable form EXCITE team employed various innovative methods to reach and connect with their
audience. These included television, radio, social media, print materials,
virtual and in–person health information clinics, community events, and more. As a result of these efforts, the teams developed 1,311 educational
assets and 12 million engagements within the first year, as well as 291,636 engagement activities.
Learn more about the unique strengths and capabilities of Extension
demonstrated through the EXCITE project in annual report.
See examples of projects using these unique strengths in action:
Healthy recipe cards containing information on Covid-19 Vaccine created by Tennessee State
Oregon State Extension doing door-to-door outreach in their communities.
Video testimonials featuring farmworkers from South Eastern Georgia by University of Georgia, a Ribbon Skirt workshop that provided attendees vaccine information from Bay Mills College.
Event poster for a virtual town hall by Univeristy of Florida and a in-person event poster for a Vaccine clinic by Southern University.
Pandora Ads in English and Spanish by Purdue & University of Wyoming.
Texting service and hotline to connect community members with information on Covid-19 and vaccine sites from Alabama A&M.
Social media campaign by Auburn.
Covid-19 vaccine information in Haitian Creole by the University of Delaware, and Spanish by Purdue and North Carolina State.
For the Health of It Campaign by Bay Mills Community College and graphic by North Carolina State.
Radio and TV ads translated into four indigenous languages (Mixteco, Zapoteco, Purépecha, Triqui) by the University of California.
Vaccine Information for farmworker handout from Mississippi State, Vaccine messages translated for the tribal community from Red Lake Nation College.
Farmer Newsletter from Ohio State and hand sanitizer with covid-19 vaccine information by Virginia State
Covid-19 education sessions for Farmworkerby North Carolina State