NEW YORK CITY – The Rockefeller Foundation, a private foundation and philanthropic medical research and arts funding organization founded by Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller in 1913, announced last week via a press release that a project they have contributed to would be providing millions in funding to teams throughout the world to promote and encourage individuals to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as well as working to combat purported “misinformation” regarding the drug.
International nonprofit Social Science Research Council (SSRC) originally announced a three-year program – dubbed The Mercury Project – in September 2021, which would take the form of a research consortium that would operate in the United States, Africa, Asia and Latin America “to drive acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination efforts and provide insights to counter health mis- and dis- information.”
The Mercury Project was initially funded in-part by way of a $7.5 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation also contributed, for a total of $10.25 million.
In an August 23, 2022 press release, The Rockefeller Foundation announced that The Mercury Project would be “providing USD 7.2 million to 12 teams advancing ambitious, applied social and behavioral science to combat the growing global threat posed by low Covid-19 vaccination rates and public health mis- and disinformation.”
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The release went on to state that The Mercury Project funding would go towards “new research on locally tailored solutions” towards vaccine acceptance and combating misinformation by social and behavioral scientists from around the world, including in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, the United States, and Zimbabwe.
SSRC President Anna Harvey said that there is a “pressing need” for The Mercury Project’s work in order to drive up worldwide COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
“With COVID-19 prevalent and rapidly evolving everywhere, there is a pressing need to identify interventions with the potential to increase vaccination take-up. Vaccines are only effective if they become vaccinations; vaccines are a scientific marvel but their potential is unfulfilled if they are left on the shelf,” she said. “The large volume of high-quality proposals submitted to the Mercury Project underscores just how eager the social and behavioral science community is to evaluate interventions to increase vaccination demand and build healthier information environments.”