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UI Extension Recognized by CDC for Vaccine Education Efforts

March 17, 2022

MOSCOW, Idaho — March 17, 2022 — University of Idaho Extension’s efforts in COVID-19 vaccine education were recently recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).

Through an interagency agreement with the CDC and the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension units at land-grant universities across the nation received funding and launched the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE) in June 2021 to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities.

“Rural America continues to be especially hard hit by the pandemic, and the lives of families and communities continue to feel the impacts,” said NIFA Director Carrie Castille. “Because our communities are faced with making important decisions about vaccinations, having a trusted, independent community agent to aid in decision making is essential. Cooperative Extension agents and educators are well placed to have that discussion and provide objective educational information. Talk with your Extension agent, and then decide.”

UI Extension’s EXCITE team found the success of mobile vaccine clinics dropped significantly following the initial rush of people wanting to get vaccinated. It became clear that the approach of simply showing up with vaccines was not helpful for those who were still unsure. The team developed a three-step approach for mobile clinics, which focuses on providing education before, during and after shots are given.

UI Extension educators coordinate with established groups, companies, or organizations to host educational sessions and conversations up to one week before the vaccine clinic is held. Educators are available during the clinic, serving as a familiar face and personal connection. The team returns to the site to administer a second dose and is available for questions or resources.

The EXCITE team has partnered with the Idaho Immunization Coalition and Idaho State University’s College of Pharmacy for the coordination of clinics and administration of vaccines. Since December 2021, the team has delivered seven clinics, which included 28 educational sessions and over 400 participants from 11 Idaho counties. A total of 80 COVID-19 vaccines and 65 flu vaccines have been administered.

“Agents and educators are trusted messengers working in every county across the nation and are uniquely situated at local levels to engage with their communities and build partnerships to improve community health,” Acting Director of the CDC NCIRD Samuel F. Posner said in a letter to the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. “As my team listens to our partners in the field, we hear story upon story of the need for one-on-one, honest discussions with trusted messengers to address concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.”

The EXCITE project will continue through June 2023 in southwest and south-central Idaho. To learn more or request an educational mobile vaccine clinic visit www.uidaho.edu/excite.

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Media Contact:
Lindsey McConnell-Soong
EXCITE Program Manager
208-795-5364
lmcconnellsoong@uidaho.edu

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu


Contact

University Communications and Marketing

Fax: 208-885-5841

Email: uinews@uidaho.edu

Web: Communications and Marketing

U of I Media Contacts