The FDA recently authorized the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds. Now, the state of New York is trying to entice parents to get their children vaccinated.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that vaccinated children will be eligible for a full scholarship to any two- or four-year New York public university.
Parents can enter a drawing for their child to win the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” scholarship over the next five weeks. Fifty children will be selected.
“Our critical work to make the vaccine accessible and available to all eligible children and their families is underway — and we will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated,” Hochul said.
“The ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program is an extraordinary opportunity for children to win free tuition to a [State University of New York] or [City University of New York] college or university, and I urge parents and guardians to help their children get vaccinated and enter into this once-in-a-lifetime program.”
“If one of your children win this, you should probably take them to Disney World because that would be a very good thing. You’ll have extra money now — you don’t have to be saving for college,” Hochul added.
The coronavirus has not posed a massive threat to children.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children have accounted for 16.7 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Between 0.1 and 2 percent of child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization, and up to 0.03 percent of child cases resulted in death.
“Most kids who are infected typically don’t become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all,” the Mayo Clinic reported.
Data from clinical vaccine studies for the age group was “limited,” according to Stat News.
“It’s not a lot to go on, but what we do have to go on looks great,” said Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
A significant number of parents do not want their children vaccinated.
One poll found that nearly one-third of parents with children under the age of 12 were not interested in getting them vaccinated. The poll was conducted from Oct. 14 to Oct. 22 among 758 parents. No margin of error was provided.
Nonetheless, Hochul is arguing that there is no reason for kids not to get vaccinated.
“There’s no excuse not to get the adults vaccinated, get the kids vaccinated and … put this pandemic in the rear-view mirror,” she said.
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