Maine: Schools COVID-19 Kids Vaccination Video Contest


The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) utilized incentives for school systems to involve the direct participation from the population targeted by new COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to become the state with the third highest vaccination rate in the country for children ages 5 to 11.



Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Education (DOE) were ready to meet the challenge when the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines expanded to recommend vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 on November 2, 2021. The newly eligible population of 96,000 children needed to be vaccinated as quickly as possible to protect their health and prevent further spread of COVID-19. DHHS and DOE also utilized the guideline changes as an outreach opportunity to reach other unvaccinated groups.



The day after the CDC guideline changes, Maine DHHS and DOE announced a competition to encourage COVID-19 vaccine information sharing. Children ages 5 to 17 were challenged to make short videos for their respective schools encouraging other children and families to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Videos were judged by their originality, clarity, consistency with existing COVID-19 public health information, and the potential to reach groups of people that had not yet been vaccinated.

Maine DHHS promoted winning videos through state CDC social media and public service announcements. Schools attended by the creators of the first, second, and third place videos received $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 respectively to supplement their budgets. These prizes were federally funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund at the Maine DHHS. Students had three weeks to create and submit a video for the competition. The COVID-19 video contest approach to spreading vaccine information encouraged direct participation from the population targeted by the new guidelines for the chance to better their communities by combatting a public health crisis and secure supplemental school funding.



Students across Maine submitted over 50 videos from which Maine DHHS selected first, second, and third place winners who received prizes for their respective schools. By December 1, 2021, 29% of newly eligible Maine children had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, giving the state the third highest vaccination rate in the country for children ages 5 to 11. Winning entries can still be viewed on the Maine Kids Vaccination Contest Winners YouTube page.

Supplemental Resources

Years: 2021

Locations: Maine

Programmatic Areas: Adolescent Immunization, COVID-19, Partnerships, Schools

Key Words: Adolescents, COVID-19, Health Promotion, Immunization Education, public awareness, Schools

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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