schoolgirl vaccine

A SHOT AT FREE COLLEGE: The state is launching a vaccine incentive program that will offer full scholarships to state and city public schools for 5-to-11-year-olds who get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 19.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Nov. 9 that children between the ages of 5 and 11 who received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 19 would be eligible to win one of 50 scholarships to any state or city public university.

In order to encourage families with young children to get vaccinated, the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” initiative will provide full scholarships for two- and four-year colleges within the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems.

Full Rides for Winners

It will cover tuition, room and board, books, supplies and transportation.

“We will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated,” Ms. Hochul said. “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." 

She added that by vaccinating their children, parents would be providing “two great gifts.”

“One is the gift of good health, and that's what they'll get when you get them vaccinated. And secondly, the shot at getting this full-ride scholarship, which I'm very excited about,” the Governor said.

Ten winners will be announced per week starting Nov. 24. The incentive was similar to one offered this past spring to 12-to-17-year olds, who were eligible for one of 10 four-year scholarships.

'A Further Incentive'

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodriguez said that the “'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' program will further incentivize parents and guardians to get their children protected, and we strongly encourage them to do so. We thank Governor Hochul for encouraging more New Yorkers to get vaccinated and for leveraging CUNY's strong reputation to help lead the State's resurgence." 

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras added that vaccinations were “key” to a more-normal academic and campus experience throughout SUNY. 

“Now that even younger individuals have an approved vaccine option, this is another huge step to seeing the finish line of this pandemic, and we must continue to do all we can to encourage everyone to get their shot,” he said.

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 were also eligible for the city’s $100 vaccine-incentive program. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds Nov. 2.


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