Massachusetts: COVID-19 Clinics at Science Museums


Science museums in Massachusetts (MA) leveraged their scientific authority to hold community COVID-19 vaccination clinics.



Massachusetts (MA) sought to promote COVID-19 vaccination uptake following the CDC guidelines expansion to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 in November 2021. The Boston Museum of Science, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, and Cataldo Ambulance Service in the city of Boston, and the EcoTarium Museum of Science and Nature in the city of Worcester worked with the MA state government to expand vaccination opportunities to meet this need. Science museums do not usually lead public health efforts but are poised to do so as a repository of scientific knowledge.



The Boston Science Museum and Worcester EcoTarium provided Massachusetts residents with non-traditional pediatric vaccination clinic locations. Families with children frequent these sites, making them a logical choice for expanding COVID-19 vaccine access for this newly eligible population.

The Boston Science Museum hosted its clinic from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday on back-to-back weekends in mid-November. Families receiving vaccinations at the clinic also received free museum parking and exhibit tickets. The Dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health toured and approved of the clinic. VaxAbilities, a disability-friendly vaccination clinic, also held a clinic at the museum in December.


The Worcester EcoTarium hosted a similar vaccine clinic on Saturday and Sunday on back-to-back weekends in late November and early December. Like the Boston Science Museum, the Worcester museum provided free museum admission for those getting vaccinated. Both museums had recently opened exhibits about the COVID-19 vaccine itself, providing an additional source of vaccine education. The Worcester EcoTarium exhibit was presented in English and Spanish, an acknowledgement of COVID’s disproportionate effect on Hispanic populations.



Appointments at the Boston and Worcester museum vaccine clinics filled up quickly, indicating high demand for vaccine provision at these locations. The Boston museum clinic administered about 500 vaccines per day, including parents receiving booster shots.

Supplemental Resources

Years: 2021

Locations: Massachusetts

Programmatic Areas: Adolescent Immunization, Adult Immunization, COVID-19, Partnerships, Public Health Functions

Key Words: Adolescents, COVID-19, Cultural Competence, Culturally Appropriate, Health Equity, Health Promotion, Partnership

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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