Throughout the pandemic, the Museum of Science has partnered with industry, academia, government and the public to serve the community as a platform for public science engagement.

What began with a Town Hall on March 8, 2020 to address questions about an emerging pandemic has grown to include a suite of resources under our Project Vaccine initiative. These include public programs centered on needs identified by our local community, online resources for the public about vaccine development, and the planning of an innovative exhibition that will open at the Museum in August 2021. See below for some of the growing list of videos, online activities, and other resources that we are creating in response to the COVID pandemic, and the development of the vaccines that are helping us combat the disease.

Support provided by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Museum of Science is proud to be a collaborator with the Smithsonian in developing a coordinated, national approach to vaccine education.

Vaccine Video Series

Vaccines have revolutionized modern medicine by helping a person's immune system prevent diseases. Learn about the science behind the COVID vaccines with our video series.

Types of Vaccines

What is an Attenuated Vaccine? English | Español

What is an RNA Vaccine? English | Español

What is a Viral Vector Vaccine? English | Español

What is an Inactivated Vaccine? English | Español

What is a Recombinant Vaccine? English | Español

Vaccines on Ice

Some of the COVID-19 vaccines are the first of a new type called RNA vaccines. Some of the COVID-19 vaccines need to be kept at extremely low temperatures in order for the vaccine to remain stable until it can be administered.

Why so Cold? English | Español

Dry Ice vs. Liquid Nitrogen English | Español

Vaccines on Ice: What Keeps Them Cold? English | Español

Herd Immunity

Curious about how herd immunity works? English | Español

Ask a Virtual Expert: COVID Conversations with Dr. Jha

You may find yourself searching for answers about the disease, its origins, medical advances, and more. In our COVID Conversations with Dr. Jha virtual exhibit, public health expert Dr. Ashish Jha answers your questions virtually about COVID-19.

Assessing Public Sentiment in a Coronavirus Vaccine

In November 2020, the Museum commissioned a Massachusetts poll on public attitudes toward vaccines and toward trust in public health communication. In collaboration with the Massachusetts League of Community Health centers, the aim of the survey was to understand our diverse community’s sentiments around a vaccine, understand who are the most trusted messengers with respect to the vaccine, and help inform the Museum’s broader work as a community partner to deliver timely, relevant essential information about the vaccine.

We released the poll results to the public and discussed at our December 2020 Town Hall:

December 2020 Town Hall: Race to the Vaccine: Exploring Public Confidence in a COVID-19 Vaccination

Press release: Survey: Nearly All MA Residents Want to Take COVID-19 Vaccine – But Not Right Away

Poll results: Rolling out the vaccine: A survey of Massachusetts residents on COVID vaccine issues

Vaccine Infographic Resources

Whether you're able to visit us in person or virtually, we have multiple resources available to learn more about vaccine technology, public sentiment, as well as the virus itself. We hope you can join us at the Museum or online to learn more.

Vaccines: Defense Against Disease, Learn about different types of vaccines that have been developed to defend us from diseases.  English | Español 
Vaccines: Testing for Safety & Efficacy, Learn about how the vaccines are developed and tested for efficacy.  English | Español 

Expert Conversations on COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it many issues, from understanding the virus and what measures could be undertaken to keep populations safe, to the rollout of vaccines and the decisions behind who gets them and when, and how to maintain equity throughout the process. In addition to our first Town Hall in March of 2020, we’ve convened thought leaders from across science and technology to help us all understand, and shape, the conversation.

Catch up on our previous Town Halls:

Race to the Vaccine: Exploring Public Confidence in a COVID-19 Vaccination. English

Vaccination Decisions: Rolling out the Vaccine. English

Vaccination Decisions: Recruiting for Clinical Trials. English | Español

Vaccination Decisions: What Does the Future Hold? English | Español

Hunger to Health in COVID and Beyond: Food Policy as Health Policy. English

The Ripple Effects of a Pandemic. English

Echoes of AIDS in the Time of Coronavirus: Lessons and Reflections. English

Children’s Mental Health: How Science Informs Policy. English