New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo unveiled the “Get a Shot to Make Your Future” initiative Friday for teenagers who have not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19.
A press release from the governor’s office explained that 12-to-17-year-olds can enter a random prize drawing and be one of 50 lucky winners to receive a full scholarship to a SUNY or CUNY college. The scholarship includes tuition, allowance, transportation, and room and board.
The State of New York will be responsible for administering the raffle, selecting 10 winners every week for the next five weeks.
Governor Cuomo emphasized the need to start encouraging vaccination across the state, especially among young New Yorkers who “make up a large percent of positive cases and have the lowest vaccination percentage in the state.”
“To better reach this population and defeat COVID once and for all we need to get creative in our efforts. We’re offering all 12-to-17-year-olds a potentially life-changing opportunity — a full scholarship, room and board at any public college or university in New York — in exchange for getting vaccinated,” he explained.”
Getting Creative in Fight Against COVID-19
New York is not the first state to use creative measures to drive up vaccination rates. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine held a vaccination lottery to give those inoculated in the state a chance to win either $1 million or a full college scholarship.
This was a controversial move for many, with netizens divided on the pros and cons of incentivizing vaccinations. While some expressed their belief that the state should do everything it can to protect its people against the virus, others called it “a waste of taxpayer dollars” and a “form of bribery.”