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Presentation: 4:34

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While COVID vaccines promise some return to normalcy, vaccine hesitancy remains a problem. Philadelphia teens are less likely to be vaccinated than their suburban counterparts. In an effort to improve vaccination rates among youth, Jefferson Health ran on-campus vaccine clinics in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia (SDOP) in the 2021-2022 academic year. Predicting students would have questions/concerns about the vaccine that would be hard to address on clinic days, a Vaccine Canvassing Team (VCT), made of up of MPH/MD-MPH/DO-MPH students, visited schools 2-5 days prior to the clinic. The VCT informed students about the clinic, addressed questions, and debunked myths to help prepare students to have vaccine-related conversations with parents/guardians. While it is hard to measure VCT’s impact on vaccine uptake, many students reported feeling good about their conversations to teachers/administrators and the VCT has been invited back to several schools to help with other health-education activities. VCT members were asked to share reflections via an online questionnaire. The experience proved to be exceedingly powerful for VCT. While they reported facing challenges engaging students, and found it hard to unpack misconceptions about COVID/vaccine, the experience gave them insight into vaccine hesitancy, issues of trust, and the many challenges faced by youth in under-resourced schools. The VCT gave students a chance to discuss vaccines prior to the clinic visit. VCT learned from both the positive and challenging interactions they had with students and reported having more insight into the route causes of vaccine hesitancy.