Projects selected under the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge to help promote vaccine confidence

News release

June 7, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

Increasing vaccine confidence is a critical part of getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country, the Public Health Agency of Canada is supporting community-driven information initiatives through its Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge.

Through the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge, the Government of Canada is engaging directly with communities to increase confidence in vaccination. By empowering community leaders to help spread the word – in their own voices and by people they trust – we can help those most impacted by COVID-19 and encourage them to get vaccinated. 

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced 20 finalists under the Challenge, who will receive a $25,000 grant to develop and launch their projects to increase people's confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and reinforce public health measures in their communities.

These organizations were selected from among hundreds of applications to receive funding for their creative campaign ideas. Each recipient will reach underserved groups who experience health and social inequities or those who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Engaging trusted messengers is an evidence-based approach that can help motivate people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Today's finalists represent the first of up to 140 projects that will be rolled out across Canada. 

The Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge is one of several programs by the Government of Canada to work with community partners and stakeholders to increase vaccine confidence and address barriers to getting vaccinated. This includes the Immunization Partnership Fund, which was launched in 2016 and supports projects to improve access to vaccination and uptake. 


"Vaccines are one of the most important tools we have to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. By working directly with communities, we see the positive impact of these initiatives to promote COVID-19 vaccination. The immense interest in the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge shows how important it is that every Canadian has the information they need to stay healthy and safe. By supporting community-driven projects like these, we're able to help people get vaccinated – a small act we can each do with a big impact in our communities."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

"The Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge encourages community members to use their own voices, languages, and styles of communicating about COVID-19 vaccines and public health measures. There are key reasons why some people may be wary of getting the vaccine, which range from the spread of misinformation to legitimate concerns about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Additionally, certain communities have experienced racism and discrimination in the health care system. Supporting communities in efforts to address uncertainty about vaccines is not just extremely effective; it's the right thing to do. I look forward to seeing the impacts of these efforts across Canada."

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge gives communities resources to spread the word about COVID-19 vaccines and increase vaccine confidence through creative, community-driven and culturally appropriate means.

  • The Challenge is a $1.5 million investment, an increase from the initial $600,000 that was announced on March 8, 2021. This funding will allow for up to an additional 120 projects to be implemented across Canada, with grants of either $5,000 or $10,000. The funding was increased after an overwhelming interest in the Challenge and the high-quality and diverse number of proposals received.

  • Under the Challenge, the community-driven information campaigns will run over a 12-week period. The 20 finalists will receive $25,000 each to carry out their campaigns and a grand prize winner will be chosen to receive $100,000 to reinvest in the protection and promotion of public health in their community.

  • Vaccine hesitancy is a complex issue, and this Challenge is one of several approaches being employed to reach Canadians to promote vaccine confidence.

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with a range of partners and stakeholders including provinces, territories, healthcare workers and other experts to support Canadians' understanding of, and confidence in, COVID-19 vaccines, including underserved, Indigenous and racialized communities. 

  • The Government of Canada continues to work with partners and stakeholders to:

    • engage with underserved communities through outreach and engagement sessions; and
    • develop public education activities to use different approaches to reach different segments of the public.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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