Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the establishment of the VaxU scholarship fund earlier this month. The goal, according to the governor, is to motivate individuals who are eligible, namely children aged 12 to 17, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Anyone who got vaccinated in the state between those ages is automatically entered to win.
The winners will get a $50,000 scholarship to attend any public, in-state university. The state began randomly picking two winners on July 12 and will continue to do so weekly until Labor Day, when they will select four winners.
Hogan stated, “The virus and its variations constitute a grave menace to you.” “The only way to protect yourself and prolong our recovery is to be vaccinated.”
“The winners will receive either a Maryland 529 prepaid college trust contract or a Maryland 529 College invest plan,” stated Gov. Hogan. “And the recipient may actually transfer the scholarship to the school of their choosing if they decide down the road…. [that they] would like to attend a private institution or school outside of the state of Maryland.”
The American Rescue Plan, which disbursed more than $360 billion in emergency funds to state and municipal governments, provided funding for these scholarships.
“Promotions like this are simply one more way that we’re stressing the need of getting every single Marylander, especially our young people, vaccinated against COVID-19,” Governor Hogan stated. “However, people who have not been vaccinated are still in danger, particularly with the new highly transmissible variations, like as the delta variant that is now circulating.”
“According to our state health agency, 95 percent of all new COVID cases recorded last month were unvaccinated persons, and 93 percent of all new COVID deaths in the month of June were unvaccinated Marylanders,” stated Gov. Hogan.
The incentive comes as the delta variety spreads rapidly across the United States and vaccination rates continue to decline.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky told Congress on Tuesday that the delta variation now accounts for 83 percent of COVID cases, up from 50 percent earlier this month.
Since the introduction of vaccines, states have utilized lotteries, college scholarships, and other incentives to encourage individuals to be vaccinated.
In May, Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery named Joseph Costello as the recipient of a full-ride scholarship. Costello’s name was chosen at random from approximately 105,000 responses among vaccinated children aged 12 to 17.
In the same month, the mayor of Lancaster, California, provided a raffle scholarship for teenagers who received the COVID-19 vaccination, with a grand prize of $10,000.