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Vaccine incentive: Young adults eligible for full scholarship to NY schools

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an incentive for young adults to get vaccinated: a chance for an all expenses paid scholarship to SUNY or CUNY schools.

“Get a Shot and Make Your Future” is a new campaign introduced Wednesday.

Cuomo says 12-to 17-year-olds are the least likely to get vaccinated and they also have the highest percentage of positivity. That group is also the lowest percent vaccinated by far in New York.

The state will raffle off on a weekly basis full tuition, room and board scholarships to any public college or university for four years. It will just be among 12-to 17-year-olds who get vaccinated.

Starting Thursday and through July 7, any 12-to 17-year-old who gets their first Pfizer dose can enter the raffle.

New York State will administer the random drawing and select 10 winners a week over five weeks for a total of 50 winners.

“People who receive the vaccine earlier have a greater chance to win because they are eligible for every drawing every week,” Cuomo said. “It’s not just those people who get it that week, once you get the vaccine, you go into the pool. If you take a vaccine earlier, you will have more chances to win, because you will be in the first week pool, second week pool, etc., so get the vaccine and get it early.”

The winners will receive up to four years of full-time undergraduate study or five years in an approved five-year bachelor’s degree program which includes the following components:

-Tuition: An amount equal to tuition at the State or City University of New York’s in-state tuition.
-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.

“As of last week, we had surpassed 50,000 youngsters between 12 and 15 who had been vaccinated and we expect that to increase by tens of thousands over the coming days and weeks, so that’s great progress,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

On May 12, Cuomo accepted the New York State Clinical Advisory Task Force’s recommendation to immediately implement expanded use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. All 12- to 17-year-olds who have been vaccinated are eligible for the incentive irrespective of when they received the vaccine.

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