New York has taken coronavirus vaccinations seriously. In fact, 45.6% of state residents are fully vaccinated, but the state is adding more incentives to ensure all residents get the vaccine.
Vaccinations have been slowing in New York City and outside. Since vaccination rollout began, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have included incentives to getting vaccinated, such as free tickets to Yankees and Mets games, state parks, and museums.
On Wednesday, Cuomo added free college scholarships to the list. Beginning Thursday, any state resident between the ages of 12 and 17 who receives the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be entered into a raffle to win a full scholarship to a CUNY or SUNY college.
“It is an incentive for students,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Times. “You’re planning on going to college. You are wondering about how you’re going to pay for it.”
Every week for five weeks, state officials will randomly select 10 children for the scholarships. Each scholarship will cover tuition, room and board, books, and transportation. Estimated costs for tuition are about $7,070; room and board costs are about $14,110. Meanwhile, costs for books and supplies are around $1,290 and transportation will cost about $1,010.
De Blasio is also expanding where residents can get vaccinated. According to NBC 4, mobile vaccination sites will be set up at city parks and beaches, including Coney Island, Brighton, Orchard and Rockaway beaches, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Governor’s Island. Additionally, those who get vaccinated at Madison Square Garden Thursday have a chance to win tickets to a Knicks game next season.
Last year was unlike any other for New York. The coronavirus pandemic put the city to sleep in the spring as stores were closed, workers were stuck at home, and schools shifted to remote learning. As the weather warmed, New Yorkers put on masks and protested against the police amid a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement.