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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Annual Report 2020-21



Driving Vaccinations in Underserved Populations

Driving Vaccinations in Underserved Populations

Get Vaccinated Campaign Aims to Increase Vaccination Rates Among Vulnerable Populations



Get Vaccinated Campaign Images Banner_Catholic Charities


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on our community in many unimaginable ways. While vaccines have helped immensely, there are often barriers between the vaccines and those that need them most. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics collaborated with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to undertake a coordinated education, marketing, and outreach campaign highlighting the value and ethics of vaccination. The organizations sought to increase the COVID-19 vaccination rate in disenfranchised and vulnerable communities in Santa Clara County. The campaign was made possible by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

The campaign entailed a variety of outreach and education programs, combining the resources and social outreach of both the Ethics Center and Catholic Charities. The central portions of the campaign included public service announcements for TV and radio, educational flyers, answers to frequently asked questions, a series of educational webinars, and translations of vaccination materials into various languages.


Images of Get Vaccinated Campaign Materials


In addition to the valuable contributions of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to help distribute the campaign’s important messages, the Ethics Center also worked with social media platforms, regional TV networks, and radio stations to better reach its audience.

The Get Vaccinated webinars, run by Ethics Center staff and 2020-21 Hackworth Fellow Amana Liddell ’22, were particularly important for presenting different perspectives on vaccines, from Catholic to educational to scientific. All of these tools, however, were essential to reaching the marginalized communities targeted by the campaign.

The process of getting vaccines into arms at clinics was more challenging than expected. Meghan Shoven, senior director of External Relations and Advancement with the Ethics Center noted, “It was truly eye-opening as to what an enormous effort it was to reach these marginalized communities, many of which face challenges accessing the COVID-19 vaccines and other health services.” Despite these challenges, the campaign helped increase vaccination numbers by reaching these vulnerable populations in the communities in which they reside.

The campaign’s work is nowhere near complete though. While the educational information has been produced and the webinars conducted, the work will continue. Santa Clara County has not yet reached full vaccination status, and with boosters and evolving variants of the virus on the way, the outreach and distribution of the campaign’s resources may be more important than ever.


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"The Get Vaccinated webinars have given me an opportunity to grow and have made me even more passionate about continuing to pursue opportunities that benefit marginalized communities in any way possible. Ultimately, I have gained a greater understanding of the vast impacts of COVID-19 and vaccinations and learned how we can address the ethical issues that have arisen during the pandemic."

~Amana Liddell ’22, 2020-21 Hackworth Fellow and 2021-22 Health Care Ethics Intern partnered with Ethics Center staff to manage the Get Vaccinated campaign webinar series.