ALEXANDRIA, VA, – Global Impact, as fiscal sponsor for the Advancing Health Online (AHO) Initiative, is pleased to announce the selection of 11 organizations that will receive grants totaling $5 million through the Vaccine Confidence Fund. This is the second program of the Vaccine Confidence Fund (VCF).  The Fund provides grants to researchers and organizations that are exploring how best to use behavioral science, social media, and digital platforms to build confidence in and access to vaccines.

“The Vaccine Confidence Fund is playing a crucial role in leveraging innovative research to demonstrate new ways in which social media platforms can play a positive role in societal health,” said Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project and Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “The VCF is bringing multiple disciplines together to take on this global health challenge to be more responsive to questions and concerns, as well as build public confidence in vaccines.”

Grantees were selected in a competitive, open process managed by Global Impact, the fiscal sponsor and Fund manager, with the support of the VCF Advisory Council, a small interdisciplinary group of domain experts from the vaccination confidence, public health, social media, and behavioral and data sciences fields.

“We believe social media can be a powerful tool for social impact. We are excited to see this research come to fruition so that social media can be scaled to its full potential as a tool to increase vaccine confidence and routine vaccination.” said Lu’chen Foster, Meta’s Director of Global Partners & Programs.

Grantees from the Fund were selected from a pool of almost 100 applicants and cover research topics touching all regions of the world with a strong focus on historically excluded or marginalized communities and authentic community engagement. This time research will focus on routine vaccination, health care workers, and understanding drivers of vaccination uptake.

The projects selected will use a variety of novel research approaches and explore how behavioral design interventions, behavioral nudges, and the use of chatbots can impact vaccination confidence and vaccine uptake. They will focus on pediatric vaccinations, displaced persons, indigenous communities, vaccine hesitant populations, healthcare workers and caregivers, and other underserved communities.  Finally, the majority of grantees will be investigating the connection between social media (online) and routine vaccine uptake (offline) through vaccination bookings and/or actual vaccinations via health clinics. Please see the sample list below of grant recipients from the Fund or visit VCF’s website for a complete overview of the research.

“Vaccine confidence is critical to reducing vaccine hesitancy, which threatens to stall and reverse progress made in combatting vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide,” said Drew Otoo, President, Merck Vaccines. “Building on the previous Fund, we are excited to see a heightened focus on routine vaccination and the role of health workers. I am confident these efforts will demonstrate opportunities for social media platforms to elevate and amplify accurate, scientifically sound information, build trust and help strengthen vaccination programs around the world.”

Vaccine Confidence Fund II grant recipients:

  • AHA! Behavioral Consultancy
  • The Behavioral Insights Team
  • Busara Center for Behavioral Economics
  • Christian Aid
  • Cognition, Values, Behaviour (CVBE) Ludwig Maximilian University & Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
  • Grameen Foundation
  • Institute for Global Health Sciences, UCSF
  • Institute for Vaccine Safety, JHU
  • The Johns Hopkins University International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC)
  • Stanford Center for Health Education
  • Wits VIDA Research Unit

For more information, please visit

About AHO
Advancing Health Online (AHO), a fiscally sponsored project of Global Impact, is an initiative launched and financially supported by Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ USA (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), and Meta in June 2021 to advance public understanding of how social media can be utilized to better understand and increase the health and resiliency of communities around the world by bringing actors together from technology, health, global development, and the academic sector. AHO’s goal is to support effective integration of social media as a core component of social behavior change (SBC) to improve health outcomes. To achieve this, AHO collaborates with organizations working at the intersection of technology, global health, and SBC.

About Global Impact
Global Impact works on charitable ventures to inspire greater giving. We serve as a trusted advisor, intermediary and implementing partner across the private, nonprofit and public sectors. Through these partnerships, we have raised nearly $2 billion for causes such as disaster relief and global development. Global Impact’s reach and services are complemented by the work of our subsidiary company, Geneva Global.