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Hochul launches new 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' vaccine incentive program for 5- to 11-year-olds for a chance to win a SUNY or CUNY full scholarship


Tue, Nov 9th 2021 08:05 pm

Parents and guardians of 5- to 11-year-olds who receive their first vaccine dose by Dec. 19 can enter into the random drawing here

√ Scholarship includes tuition, room and board; 10 winners per week for 5 weeks

√ Drawing schedule available here

√ Parents, guardians & communities can visit Ny.Gov/Vaxforkids;

√ New posters, stickers and other assets available for providers on the ground here

On Tuesday, during a COVID-19 briefing at the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center in Westchester County, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced new efforts to support vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds, including the launch of a new vaccine incentive program – “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” – for young New Yorkers.

Parents and guardians of children ages 5 through 11 who receive their first vaccine dose by Dec. 19 can enter the state's incentive program for a chance for their child to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year SUNY or CUNY college or university. The scholarship includes tuition, room and board. Ten winners will be announced each week beginning Nov. 24, with a total of 50 winners being selected over the five-week period.

"Finally, the COVID-19 vaccine is here for young New Yorkers age 5 through 11," Hochul said. "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."

Winners of the State's incentive program will receive two or four years of full-time study in any SUNY or CUNY associates or bachelor’s degree program, which includes the following:

√ Tuition: The full cost of in-state tuition at a New York State or City University.

√ Non-tuition Costs: Room and board and allowances for books, supplies and transportation up to the average cost at SUNY colleges.

√ Residence: Students living on campus will receive a higher room and board allowance than commuter students. If housing is not available for students on campus, they will receive the same allowance as students living on campus.

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "Expanding vaccine eligibility to children as young as 5 years old gives us even greater confidence that we will effectively subdue COVID-19 and put the conditions in place for New York's full economic recovery. The 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' program will further incentivize parents and guardians to get their children protected, and we strongly encourage them to do so.”

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "Vaccinations were the 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.”

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, "I thank Gov. Hochul for her leadership in expanding vaccinations to 5- to 11-year-olds and for her action to encourage even more of New York's youth to get vaccinated. Launching the 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' vaccine incentive program will enable New York to drive down the overall number of positive COVID cases and ensure all New Yorkers are protected. With more opportunities available for young people to receive a full scholarship to one of New York's world-class institutions, there is no better time than now for kids 5-11 years old to get vaccinated."

In order to be eligible, children must be between the ages of 5 to 11 and be residents of New York. Pursuant to federal law, children must be lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens in order to be eligible. Federal COVID-19 relief and outreach funds will be used to cover the cost of this vaccination incentive program.

Parents and guardians can enter on behalf of their eligible children here, and those without internet access may call 1-833-697-4829 to submit an entry over the phone. New York will administer the random drawing each week, and winners will be verified by the New York State Department of Health and New York State Higher Education Services Corp.

Only one entry per child will be accepted, and children must have received their first COVID-19 vaccination at least one day prior to their entry. Entries will be carried over through all the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” program's drawings. Additional information is available in the official rules.

Parents and guardians can visit the state's new website, ny.gov/vaxforkids, for information, frequently asked questions, and new resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and children. The state has recently added ready-made materials to support pediatric providers and localities administering the vaccine to children on-the-ground, including new posters and stickers available here.

New Yorkers looking to schedule vaccine appointments for 5- to 11-year-old children can contact their child's pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine for this age group. Parents and guardians can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.

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