10 More NY Kids Win Free College Just for Getting Vaccinated (And Yours Can, Too)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's college scholarship incentive program for vaccinated kids age 12 to 17 wraps up on July 7

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What to Know

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the latest 10 vaccinated NY kids to get full college scholarships on Thursday; another 30 will be raffled off over the next two weeks to kids age 12 to 17 who get at least a dose
  • All vaccinated NY kids in that age range can sign up for the drawings even if they were dosed before the program launched; the free rides to any SUNY or CUNY university are valued at around $100K each
  • Cuomo lifted virtually all remaining COVID rules for businesses and social settings earlier this week when NY achieved his 70% partial adult vaccination milestone; he wants to keep doing more

Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the latest round of New York kids to earn free four-year college scholarships to any SUNY or CUNY university on Thursday. It's one of the newer, more lucrative programs to incentivize children (and their parents) to get dosed as the state looks to extend beyond its recently achieved vaccine milestone.

Vaccination rates have hit a wall across the board in recent weeks, and Cuomo, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have targeted recent outreach to what they perceive as a fairly untapped (and malleable) market -- kids age 12 to 17.

Cuomo first announced the scholarship incentive program in late May. The state is raffling off 10 free full room and board scholarships -- valued at around $100,000 each -- over the course of five weeks to any New York kid in that age group who gets at least one vaccine dose. Even those dosed prior to the program's launch can add their names to the pool, a marked difference from other state incentive plans.

Any New Yorker age 12 to 17 who has been vaccinated already or gets vaccinated before the last drawing on July 7 can enter to win free college rides. A total of 50 will be awarded. Here's how to sign up to be notified when each drawing begins.

The latest winners are:

• Kelly Moscoso-Yanes, Nassau County, NY
• Victoria Romero, Nassau County, NY
• Niaja Land, Brooklyn, NY
• Jordan Gallusser, Otsego County, NY
• Emily Brodsky, Suffolk County, NY
• Nicholas Keirstead, Monroe County, NY
• Brian Hoffman, Erie County, NY
• Aleksander Sosa, Suffolk County, NY
• Madison Pennington, Erie County, NY
• Ryan Hsu, Queens, NY

Get your COVID shot, get a scholarship. John Chandler explains.

Cuomo had said 49,000 New York kids age 12 to 17 got vaccinated in the first week after he announced the program. Many more kids likely have gotten dosed since, though the governor didn't offer an updated number on Thursday.

State vaccine data shows the marked increase clearly, though. As of the latest report, 18.6% of New Yorkers age 12 to 15 (the state doesn't break out data 12 to 17 since 16- and 17-year-olds were eligible earlier) are fully immunized.

It's a seemingly small share but one that vaulted up from 7.7% in less than two weeks as other age groups struggle to hit even a third of a percentage point increase on a daily basis.

About 30% of those youngest kids have gotten at least one vaccine dose, up from a bit more than 27.2% since last week's college scholarship raffle.

Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC

The increases are also evident in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio has similarly targeted youth with vaccination outreach in recent weeks. Like Cuomo, he is banking that this particular age group and their parents may be more likely to be convinced to get dosed than their older cohorts who have been eligible longer.

More than 62% of all adult New Yorkers are fully vaccinated to date, CDC data shows, while 70.4% have had at least one dose. That was enough to put New York on top of Cuomo's critical adult vaccination rate milestone earlier this week.

The governor lifted virtually all remaining COVID restrictions with limited industry exceptions and hosted a statewide fireworks party to celebrate.

"The vaccine is the best weapon we have against the COVID virus and although we have hit a 70 percent vaccination rate, we still have more work to do to get every single New Yorker vaccinated," Cuomo said Thursday. "Younger New Yorkers still have the lowest vaccination rates in the State, and this incentive offers 12 to 17-year-olds a unique opportunity to make their futures in exchange for taking action to protect themselves and their loved ones."

Nationally, 51.6% of all U.S. residents age 12 and up are fully vaccinated, while 61.7% have had at least one dose, according to the latest CDC data.

Copyright NBC New York
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