Philly Counts knocks on 100,000 doors in 6 months to encourage adult vaccination

Philly Counts staff canvass the Haddington neighborhood in West Philly during the census.

File photo: Philly Counts staff canvass the Haddington neighborhood in West Philly during the census. Most recently, Philly Counts as pivoted to focusing canvassing efforts on giving Philly residents information on COVID-19 vaccination. (Ximena Conde/WHYY)

Philly Counts, the team responsible for community outreach during the 2020 Census, shifted to COVID-19 vaccine distribution in 2021. Now, the office has reached a significant engagement milestone over the past six months.

The Philly Counts team announced Thursday that it has knocked on more than 100,000 doors and has had over 17,000 informational conversations with city residents about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Being able to reach individuals and families in their communities with vaccine information has been critical to ensuring vaccine equity in Philadelphia,” said Vanessa Caracoza, the director of partnerships for Philly Counts. “We knew that access to information would be essential to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all Philadelphians throughout the COVID pandemic.”

In October, the office, which works in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, launched a paid canvassing program to engage with Philadelphians about the importance of the vaccine. Since then, 50 canvassers have made at least three passes through each of the 32 lowest-vaccinated Philly neighborhoods.

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Philly Counts reached its 100,000th door at its Spring Day of Action: Thank You Lunch & Canvass on April 23 in the East Oak Lane, Onley, Hartranft, and Mill Creek neighborhoods.

“We have completed a milestone in our quest to get people vaccinated. This is a testament to the dedication of everyone here at Philly Counts, working as a team to save lives,” said Lewis Maye, the canvassing manager for Philly Counts.

The canvassers also provide residents with the tools to have their own conversations about the vaccine with their fellow community members.

Philly Counts has handled various tasks over the last few years. From the current COVID-19 response to the 2020 general election, the program has shifted its focus as new needs arise.

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And with more than 95% of adults in Philadelphia having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the team is looking for its next challenge.

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