Vaccines and US

Our Purpose and Who We Are

Every one of us has a right to accurate, trusted information, especially around health. Vaccination impacts you, your family, and your community. We created Vaccines & US to help you make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccines, answer questions about vaccines or discuss them with family, friends, or in your community.

The national vaccination effort offers a unique opportunity for all of us to support our communities as we work to emerge from the pandemic. We can download and use many of the resources on the portal with our families, neighbors, or friends as conversation starters, direct our organizations to them, and bring the material to the attention of opinion leaders we know. We can print and mount a Vaccines & US poster on our door and submit a design for a new one.

This effort also offers an opportunity for museums and all other cultural organizations to help their communities in new and creative ways. These public institutions can leverage the trust their communities have placed in them and provide a platform to safely access reliable resources around COVID-19 and vaccinations. Using multiple forms of expression, scientific information is conveyed in accessible language(s), and related information provides support for all people. Knowing their constituencies and using these materials, organizations can create special corners on their own websites that will resonate with their audiences.

Vaccines & US may be Smithsonian-led, but the work represents an impressive and inspiring community.

Contact Amy L. Marino and Zahava D. Doering, Co-Directors, at with questions, comments or ideas.


Ten organizations, and three independent museum professionals, collaborated with the Smithsonian to develop a coordinated, national approach to vaccine education and engagement. Despite being closed, we aimed to become active community partners and sources of health information to promote public engagement through related programming and exhibitions. Our goal was to create a resource hub accessible and usable by individuals, groups, and all museum and cultural organizations. We are grateful for the commitment and creativity of our collaborators:

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), one of the nation’s largest public library systems, has 700,000 active cardholders. BPL is a recognized leader in cultural offerings, literacy, out-of-school-time services, and digital literacy. BPL also offers community programs and resources that focus on the health and well-being of all Brooklynites.

Fred Hutch logo

COVID-19 Prevention Network at Fred  Hutch

The Fred  Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical research to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. The Center, along with the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest.



The Exploratorium creates extraordinary learning experiences that ignite curiosity, upend perceptions, and invite people to explore the world around them. Since 1969, our museum in San Francisco has housed a renowned collection of exhibits that investigate science, art, and human perception, and have helped change the way science is taught.


Museum of Chinese in America

Since its founding in 1980, MOCA has celebrated the living history of the Chinese experience in America by preserving and presenting the 200-year history, heritage, culture, and diverse experiences of American communities of Chinese descent. Its collection of 85,000 objects is the largest repository of Chinese American artifacts in the world.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science, Boston

The Museum of Science engages visitors to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through interactive exhibits and programs. The Museum influences STEM education through research and national advocacy, as a strong community partner and resource, and as a leader in universal design, developing exhibits and programming accessible to all.


The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)

The New York Hall of Science, founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair, brings hands-on learning, delight, and play to educating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). NYSCI's mission is to nurture generations of passionate learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens through an approach we call Design Make Play.  


Pacific Science Center 

The mission of Pacific Science Center (PacSci) is to ignite curiosity in every child, and to fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us. We strive to make everything PacSci has to offer accessible for everyone in our community. 

Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Museum Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota, founded in 1907, is located in downtown St. Paul. The museum’s programs combine research and collection facilities, a public science education center, extensive teacher education and school outreach programs, and an Imax Convertible Dome Omnitheater to provide science education to our regional and national audience of more than a million people per year. 

St. Louis Science Center

Saint Louis Science Center  

The Saint Louis Science Center has a mission “to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,” offering free general admission and serving more than one million people each year. The campus features interactive experiences, an indoor-outdoor GROW agricultural pavilion and gallery, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, and a four-story OMNIMAX®Theater. 

The Health Museum

The Health Museum  

Located in the heart of Houston, Texas, The Health Museum is an interactive science center that has been inspiring wonder and curiosity about health, medical science and the human body for 50+ years. Its creation was funded in part by donations collected during the local polio vaccination campaign in the 1960s.

The Peale

The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture  

The Peale's mission is to amplify, share, and preserve the intangible cultural heritage of Baltimore. To ensure the whole story of the city is heard, we steward the largest digital collection of Baltimore stories in the world, based in the 1814 Peale Museum, the first purpose-built museum in the U.S.

Independent Museum Professionals

Claire Pillsbury, Tamara Schwarz, and Deborah Schwartz. The expertise they bring includes exhibition development, interpretive planning, and programming in science, history, and art. They all create informal learning experiences that help people connect, explore, and improve the world around them.

Outreach Supporters

With help from our outreach supporters, we will add more partners across the country and expand our community. This effort will touch more people with resources and support that can make a real difference—and create healthier communities everywhere.

We acknowledge with appreciation the following supporters for their belief in this vision of convening the cultural community in an effort to help save lives.

  • American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
  • American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
  • Association of African American Museums (AAAM)
  • Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
  • Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
  • Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM)
  • International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC)
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
  • National Council on Public History (NCPH)
  • National Indian Health Board (NIHB)
  • National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) 
  • OCLC
  • REopening Libraries, Archives, and Museums (REALM)


Vaccines & US partners are cultural organizations nationwide, local museum and cultural staff, educators, and creatives working for and with the public, especially in communities disproportionately afflicted by the pandemic.


Bringing and shaping an idea to life requires the assistance of many. We are thankful for our generous contributors. Their contributions range from sending us articles for the site, directing us to an individual or organization, editing and proofreading, and providing an empathetic place to talk. 

Leadership and Key Staff of Vaccines & US Collaborators

Jasmin Aina, COVID-19 Prevention Network at Fred Hutch
Cody L. Shipman, COVID-19 Prevention Network at Fred Hutch
Rob Semper, PhD, Exploratorium
Jen Frazier, PhD, Exploratorium
John Arcidiacono, Health Museum, Houston
Becky Seabrook, Health Museum, Houston
Claire Pillsbury, Independent Museum Professional
Tamara Schwarz, Independent Museum Professional
Deborah Schwartz, Independent Museum Professional
Nancy Yao, Maasbach Museum of Chinese in America
Edward Cheng, Museum of Chinese in America
Tim Ritchie, Museum of Science, Boston
Christine Reich, Museum of Science, Boston
Lydia Beall, Museum of Science, Boston
Margaret Honey, New York Hall of Science
Laycca Umer, New York Hall of Science
Diana Johns, Pacific Science Center
Nancy Proctor, PhD, Peale Center for History and Architecture
Krista Green, Peale Center for History and Architecture
Elisa Israel, Saint Louis Science Center
Christina Carlson, Saint Louis Science Center
Laurie Fink, PhD, Science Museum Minnesota
Amy Grack Nelson, Science Museum Minnesota

Scientific/Medical Collaborators


Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD, FASTMH, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Peter H. Hotez, MD, PhD, FASTMH, FAAP, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Brian C. Reed, MD, University of Houston College of Medicine
Dr. Lu Tang, PhD, Texas A&M University
Dr. Catherine L. Troisi, PhD, University of Texas School of Public Health

Working Group

Ashley Alexander, MSc, The Health Museum
Munir Buhaya, MD Candidate, McGovern Medical School 
Daniel Colchado, MD Candidate, Baylor Medical School
Elizabeth L. Godfrey, MD Candidate, Baylor Medical School
Valencia Potter, MD Candidate , Baylor Medical School
Dr. Doris Taylor, PhD, Baylor Medical School
Kennedi Wilson, MPH, MD Candidate, University of Houston
Tarren Vielma, RN, The Health Museum

Leadership and Key Staff of Vaccines & US Supporters 

Laura Lott, American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
Elizabeth Merrit, American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
John Dichtl, American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Association of African American Museums
Rachel Diamond, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Adam Fagen, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Erica Kimerling, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Na’ilah Metwally, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Christofer Nelson, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)
Dan Ashe, Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
Craig Hoover, Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
Amy E. Waterman, Council of American Jewish Museum (CAJM)
Melissa Yaverbaum, Council of American Jewish Museum (CAJM)
Crosby Kemper, Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Scott Carey, Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Braden Paynter, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC)
Elizabeth Silkes, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC)
Stephanie Rowe, National Council on Public History (NCPH)
Brad Herring, National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net)
Catherine McCarthy, National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net)
Stacy Bohlen, Native Indian Health Board (NIHB)
Tyler Dougherty, Native Indian Health Board (NIHB)
Carolyn Hornbuckle, Native Indian Health Board (NIHB)
Kendra Morgan, OCLC
Sharon Streams, OCLC


Jack Barry, Center for Public Interest Communications, University of Florida
Jamie Bell, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
Aatish Bhatia, PhD, Independent Scholar
Vesna Bricelj, Vesna Bricelj Art & Design
Caroline B. Blockus, Independent Museum Professional
Lois Conley, The Griot Museum of Black History
Rhoda Cosme, Thinc Design, Inc.
Spencer Crew, PhD, George Mason University
Ruth Davis, Ruth Davis Associates
Avi Decter, Independent Museum Professional
John Fraser, PhD, Knology
Elana Friedman, Independent Museum Professional
Tasmyn Scarl Front, Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis
Tom Hennes, Thinc Design, Inc.
Deb Howes, Howes Studio
Julia Hubbard, Communications at Cherokee Nation
Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Judy Koke, Institute for Learning Innovation
Dorothy Kosinski, Phillips Collection, Director
Cynthia Lee, Thinc Design, Inc.
Zachary Levine, Viral Art Project
Peter Linett, Slover-Linett Audience Research
Rheilly Llanos, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Laura Conrad Mandel, The Jewish Arts Collaborative
Molly McBride, Sathya Production Services
Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett, MD, MBA, The Molina Foundation
Billie Pivnick, PhD, William Alanson White Institute
Jenny-Sayre Ramberg, Ramberg Works
Carolyn Rapkivian, Bar Harbor Historical Society
Henry Reich, Minute Physics
Calvin Riley, George B. Vashon African-American Museum
Jeff Sanford, Orlando Science Center
Ann Elizabeth Searight Christiano, Center for Public Interest Communications, University of Florida
Marsha Semmel, Independent Museum Professional
Eric Siegel, Independent Museum Professional
Dan Spock, Independent Museum Professional
Kim Teehee, Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses
Anika Walke, PhD, Washington University, St. Louis
Geoff Ward, PhD, Washington University, St. Louis
Rick West, Autry Museum of the American West
Joshua Whitehead, Best Practices, NYC
Oronde Kenrick Okan Wright, Thinc Design, Inc.

Students of ART 5900, Senior Seminar. Baruch College, City University of New York

Javier Barrera
Justin Chen
Yuan Chen
Joseph Criscione
Shaden Fahim
Andrew Fuentes
Alison Huo
Isabelle Izkiyayeva
Ji Kwon
Natalie Martell
Ernesto Morel
Oleksiy Myhalchyk
Yeatasmin Shiropa
Nicholas Sulis
Pamela Verzonilla
Erica Wong
Karen Yu
Cynthia Yumbla
Amy Zhang

Smithsonian Colleagues

Greg Bettwy
Erin Blasco
Carol Bossert
Rogger Brissenden
Nicole Bryner
Sulema Castro
Camy Clough
Sara Cohen
Shelly Cole
Kinshasha Holman Conwill
David Coronado
Arthur Daemmrich
Ann Drumheller
Farleigh Earhart
Tricia Edwards
Shaylyn Esposito
Alexandra Fairchild
Alise Fischer
Alaina Gibbs
Kevin Gover
Allison Green
Lauryn Guttenplan
Laura Hambleton
Andres Henriquez
Valeska Hilbig
Carmen Iannacone
Effie Kapsalis
Stephanie Linehan Astilla
Brian K. Mann
Julissa Marenco
Scott Miller
Carol O'Donnell
Katherine Ott
Ha Pham
Jennifer Pichardo
Ashley Rogers
Dana Small
Ellen Stofan
Todd Stowell
Elise Walter
Christopher Williams
Anne B. Williams
Brian Wolly
Carol Youmans
Beth  Ziebarth