Vaccinated young people across New York state will have one more chance to win a raffle for free tuition as well as room and board at a public college, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.
Cuomo revealed the competition’s extension and the latest 10 winners of the raffle during a press conference Wednesday morning which included two students from Brooklyn, Ivy Bloomfield and Emilio Nebil Brau, two children from Suffolk County, as well as students from Saratoga Country, Orange County, Monroe County, Tioga County and Dutchess County.
State officials launched the competition in late May in order to boost low vaccination rates among 12-17-year-olds who had then only recently become eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Since then, about 145,000 vaccine-eligible young people have gotten at least one shot of the inoculation, Gov. Cuomo said.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children 12 years and up receive the COVID-19 vaccine to mitigate the spread of the virus and continue to do so despite some reports of adolescents and young adults developing heart conditions after getting the mRNA vaccine.
The conditions, called pericarditis and myocarditis, cause inflammation of the outer lining of the heart and the heart muscle itself respectively and have mostly been reported in young men 16 and older. It is unclear what or if there is a link between the vaccine and the conditions.
Officials said 50 scholarships would be raffled off to a four-year CUNY or SUNY school and only one entry will be allowed per child. All duplicate entries will be taken out of the drawing pile before winners are selected.
“It’s working,” Cuomo said. “We congratulate them, we congratulate their parents who are saying thank God I don’t have to worry about this going forward.”
To enter the raffle, parents or legal guardians of vaccine eligible children who have gotten at least their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine must enter their name, phone number, address, vaccination site and their child’s school district and ID number into an online form on the New York state website.
All entries have to be made by 11:59 p.m. on June 28 in order for a child to be eligible for the last raffle drawing.