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The Innovation Studio at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles partnered with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on the VaxUp Challenge: a three-phase innovation challenge to generate, test and scale creative solutions to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among children and teens in L.A. County, particularly in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The VaxUp Challenge sought bold, creative ideas that could address the barriers and challenges to vaccinating young people in L.A. County.
In February 2022, 140 individuals from 48 organizations participated in a virtual idea-a-thon to generate creative vaccine promotion ideas. A panel of reviewers selected 16 teams who were each awarded a $5,000 grant. The teams had one month to conduct research on their target audience and generate a prototype. The teams then pitched the design and functionality of their prototype to the reviewers who selected 10 teams for the final phase of the VaxUp Challenge. Each team received a $20,000 grant to design a pilot of their concept.
In April 2022, a panel of reviewers selected three winning teams and awarded each of them a $75,000 grant to further develop and pilot their solution in Los Angeles County.
The three teams selected for the VaxUp Innovation Challenge are:
Kedren Community Health Center: Kedren Community Health Center’s VaxUp solution builds on their expansive work of providing over 300,000 COVID-19 vaccines to the community and focuses on increasing vaccinations for children ages 5-11 in L.A. County through mobile vaccine clinics. These pop-up clinics will be in the form of free, fun and immersive family-friendly events that provide COVID-19 awareness and health education.
Northeast Valley Health Corporation: The Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) aims to resolve pediatric COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy without creating more work or burnout for health care providers through the use of motivational interviewing techniques. Following a vaccine readiness assessment administered electronically to patients and families, clinical staff will use the data from the assessment and a COVID-19 vaccine persona-based algorithm to tailor motivational interviewing techniques specific to the patient family’s readiness to accept the vaccine. NEVHC will train partner organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers in L.A. County in motivational interviewing techniques and provide patients with incentives and follow-up text messages and videos to encourage COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
MiVacunaLA: MiVacuna is an evidence-based digital outreach program designed to inform and empower Latinx families when making the decision to vaccinate their children for COVID-19. The pilot program will enroll 600 Latinx parents with at least one unvaccinated child in a four-week program where they will receive reliable information via text messages. In addition, MiVacuna will train 20 Latinx parent ambassadors with at least one vaccinated child to recruit non-vaccinated families and share credible vaccine information in their communities.