Teenagers now focus of COVID vaccinations

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Want a shot to go to college for free? Then get the shot. New York is offering 50 full college scholarships for any teenager who gets the vaccine.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Governor Cuomo made it clear that teenagers are the new focus of the state’s vaccination effort.

“That group, 12 to 17, is the lowest percent vaccinated by far in the state,” he said.

Governor Cuomo then announced a plan to give away full college tuition and room and board to soon-to-be college students, and it can be used at any SUNY or CUNY school.

“So, it’s a significant incentive for students, and by the way, it’s an incentive for parents. You’re worried about paying college tuition? Tell your 12 to 17 year old and go out and get a shot,” he said.

Ten kids will be chosen each week for 5 weeks through July 7. Only kids who receive the Pfizer vaccine will be eligible since that’s the only one approved for 12 to 17 year olds.

Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray says about 5 percent of that age group has been vaccinated. Now the county is making a push to bring shots to them.

Gray says LaFargeville Central, Carthage High School, South Jefferson High School, and Thousand Islands Middle School will all hold vaccination clinics in the next week. Pfizer will be administered at each location.

“We’re really shifting our focus to 12 to, you know, 17, 18, 19 range,” he said.

And with the warm weather upon us, Gray says the time is now to get vaccinated.

“They’re going to be engaging in summer activities, a lot of youth activities. It’s all going to be that much more safer for them,” he said.

As for the scholarship giveaways, parents and their kids can sign up on the New York state website. The state will verify that the winners are vaccinated.

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