This blog post was written by Imani Stewart-Jackson, Communications, and Digital Engagement Manager

Philly Counts is a City’s initiative that helps direct community engagement efforts for the COVID-19 vaccine.  Working in low-vaccinated neighborhoods around the city, Philly Counts works collaboratively with volunteers and partners that talk to their friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of getting vaccinated. 

The team collaborates with neighborhood leaders and community-based organizations to engage people around the COVID-19 vaccine –share information, answer difficult questions, and help people find vaccination opportunities that are close by and convenient.  

The Philly Counts office was originally created in 2019 to support the 2020 Census. By working closely with community members and partners, this program increased understanding about the importance of the census, educated the public on how to participate, ensured responses from the public for a fair and accurate count, and supported filling census jobs. The work has continued to pivot to critical outreach efforts and initiatives as needed, but the mission of empowering and connecting citizens to affect change in their community has remained the same.  

About the Philly Counts Engagement Model


The Philly Counts engagement model is rooted in the power of the network. The work is done by mobilizing and empowering communities to take action that will improve the safety and wellbeing of our neighborhoods. To establish meaningful relationships, Philly Counts utilizes a multi-tiered approach to community outreach, engagement, and education. We use different methods such as canvassing (door knocking), phone/text banking, pop-up vaccine clinics, and a Vaccine Information Champion Training to connect with the community.

“I am so glad that I took this Vaccine Information Champion Training so that I got clarity on some issues and I am able to speak to people with all of their resistance a lot better. I got a lot of good information that also lets me know better about vaccines.” — South Philadelphia Resident

Philly Counts’ Impact 

“I spoke with a woman whose daughter is part of clinical trials in order to get the vaccine on the market. These conversations give me encouragement to talk to the people because I know there are good people out here doing the work.” — Darrell, Neighborhood Ambassador

Since February 2021, the team has been helping the City achieve its goal of getting residents vaccinated. Here’s a by-the-numbers look:

  • Philly Counts engaged over 27,000 residents in seven months. That’s about 3,400 residents each month!
  • Over 172,000 Phone Calls (Attempts)​
  • Nearly 30,000 Text Messages (Attempts)​
  • Over 20,000 Doors Knocked (Attempts)​
  • Trained Over 800 Vaccine Information Champions 
  • Nearly 7,000 email subscribers
  • 36 Neighborhood Ambassadors
  • Partnered with 85 local organizations through the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia

In the Media

  • Three press releases and three blogs posts
  • 16 Media hits:​
    • Inquirer, WHYY, Tribune, 6ABC, CNBC, NBC10, TV Tokyo, Univision,, FOX29, WURD, Al Día​.