New York is coming up with fresh ways to encourage younger residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the state’s “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” incentive scholarship that will provide an extra reason for New Yorkers between the ages of 5 and 11 to get vaccinated.
The five-week public outreach campaign will run through Sunday, Dec. 19, consisting of a series of statewide drawings to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Each week, parents of children who get their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to win one of 50 four-year, full-ride scholarships to any two-year or four-year New York State public college or university.
“Finally, the COVID-19 vaccine is here for young New Yorkers age 5 through 11,” Hochul stated. “Our critical work to make the vaccine accessible and available to all eligible children and their families is underway - and we will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated.
“The 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' program is an extraordinary opportunity for children to win free tuition to a SUNY or CUNY college or university, and I urge parents and guardians to help their children get vaccinated and enter into this once-in-a-lifetime program.”
The scholarships include tuition, fees, room-and-board, and expenses. Ten winners will be announced weekly beginning Wednesday, November 24, 2021, for five consecutive weeks.
“Tuition. Fees. Room and board. The whole nine yards," Hochul said.
Hochul said that it has been a concerted effort to get children vaccinated, with hundreds of school districts already indicating that they were planning vaccine events for the most recent eligible age group to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The latest program comes on the heels of a similar, successful program that ran over the spring and summer for New York teens once they became eligible to receive the vaccine.
“This will unlock the door to a normal existence for all of us and it starts with the kids,” Hochul said. “If everybody gets vaccinated, we’re going to protect all of our family members.
“This is the best thing we can do for our families right now, to make sure that they’re vaccinated.”
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