Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health held its second annual case competition Feb. 18, which aimed to improve vaccine effectiveness in Philadelphia; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually this year. There were nine teams at this event, made up of both undergraduate and graduate public health students while others just had graduate students.
The first part of the two-part event was to submit a subway poster that would encourage others to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The second was to develop an outreach plan to reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase confidence in vaccines. All teams had between nine and 11 days to submit both parts, and were assigned a public health faculty that would help the participants think deeply about their proposal instead of simply providing answers.
The student-created subway posters were included in a survey that asked people to vote for the poster they found most effective. The team with the most votes would win the People’s Choice Award. This survey received over 1,000 votes. On competition day, each team had the opportunity to meet with the judges and answer questions. The judges asked questions related to the outreach plan.
The winning team, Team 5, received $1,000 for their award. An honorable mention went out to Team 1, who received $500. Team 6 won the People’s Choice Award and received $500.
Although several teams did not win, many participants were able to network with other participants from various programs in the Dornsife School of Public Health and Dornsife faculty members. This competition gave participants a chance to solve a real-world issue that is one of the biggest concerns in controlling the spread of COVID-19.