Backgrounder: Funding Recipients for the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge


June 2021

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) launched the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge on March 8, 2021, to seek creative ideas for community-based information initiatives to:

  • help increase people’s confidence in COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • reinforce the use of multiple personal preventative public health measures, particularly with the increased circulation of variants of concern that can spread more easily.

A key objective of the Challenge is to promote vaccine confidence, especially for those who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and underserved communities who experience health and social inequities. These projects will use messaging that is:

  • relevant to community members;
  • informed; and
  • culturally appropriate.

Promoting vaccine confidence means making sure people feel they have the information they need to make a decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The call for proposals for the Challenge ended on April 15, 2021. All proposals were reviewed by an expert panel formed of individuals—from within and outside the Government of Canada― who specialize in areas including community mobilization, health equity, behavioural science, and vaccine confidence.  

Based on recommendations by the expert panel, 20 finalists were selected to receive $25,000 each to develop and implement their campaigns. One grand prize winner will be chosen to receive $100,000 to reinvest in the protection and promotion of public health in their community.

Under the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge, a total of $1.5 million will be awarded through grants under the terms and conditions for the Promotion of Population Health. Given the overwhelming interest in the Challenge and the quality and breadth of applications received, PHAC received $900,000 in additional funding, from the initial $600,000 that had been announced, to support more community-driven information campaigns to help spread the word on COVID-19 vaccines and public health measures.

Therefore, in addition to the 20 finalists, PHAC will select up to an additional 120 proposal applicants to receive a grant of either $5,000 or $10,000 each to implement projects in their communities. The amounts will be allocated based on the ranking of the proposals recommended by the expert panel.

All campaigns will run over a 12-week period. All funding recipients will be required to submit a report at the end of their campaigns, which will include:

  • an overview of their campaign;
  • campaign achievements with respect to the Challenge’s objectives, and
  • challenges and lesson learned from their campaigns.

The list of finalists is available on PHAC’s website.

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