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Grant funds adult vaccine education

Grant funds adult vaccine education

Mississippi adults will continue to be offered science-based vaccine information by the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service with help from a national grant. MSU Extension received the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE) grant to provide adult vaccine education in Mississippi. MSU was one of 37 institutions chosen for this award.

The EXCITE grant program is a nationwide local response by U.S. Cooperative Extension made possible through an interagency agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Through strategic partnerships, the project aims to instill greater confidence in land-grant universities -- of which MSU is one -- to provide effective immunization education.

The MSU grant will fund an 18-month educational campaign, characterized by community engagement and close collaboration with public health partners.

Holli Seitz, an MSU associate professor of communication, said the effort is a cross-college collaboration between MSU Extension and the MSU Department of Communication, the Social Science Research Center, and the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. “We will work to build partnerships with pharmacies and churches in Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties to reach older adults with information about recommended vaccines,” Seitz said. “Through this initiative, we will also be able to build public health capacity within Extension by offering an opportunity for a group of Extension agents to pursue additional training in public health.” The project’s goal is to improve access to and acceptance of immunizations among rural adult populations. All adult immunizations will be covered, with special emphasis on vaccines for pneumococcal disease, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. To learn more about this effort, visit


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