Vaccine incentives for DC kids now include giveaways, gift cards, chance to win $25K for college

The push to get D.C. children caught up on routine immunizations needed for school and vaccinated against COVID-19 includes giveaways and a chance to win $25,000 college scholarships.

“Whether that’s COVID-19 vaccination or their routine pediatric immunization. It’s so important for our children to be protected as they’re coming back to school,” said Patrick Ashley, senior deputy director at DC Health.

“We’ve heard from some parents that it’s hard to get appointments with their pediatricians. And so we’ve got community providers here at 34 locations that you can sign up for — we’ve got evening hours, we’ve got weekend hours,” he said.

Appointments are required for routine pediatric immunizations, but not for COVID-19 shots. Locations and appointments can be found at vaccinate.dc.gov.

D.C. children ages 12 to 17 who’ve had at least one COVID-19 shot are eligible to win $25,000 to use at the college of their choice. Drawings begin Aug. 30.

“We’re going to do two of those a week for a total of eight; we have the opportunity to give some iPads and some Beats headphones as well,” Ashley said.

COVID-19 walk up shot clinics are also offering $51 gift cards to parents and giving children a choice between the $51 gift card or AirPods — while supplies last.

That’s at Brookland Middle School, Sousa Middle School and Johnson Middle School, on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Those sites will operate four days a week from Aug. 7 through Sept. 30.

Through Aug. 21, three other walk up COVID-19 vaccine clinics, two with the $51 gift card and giveaway incentives, will cater to kids 12 to 17. The Dorothy Height/Benning Library site will give adults getting vaccinated $51 gift cards.

Find hours and locations for these clinics and more on D.C.’s website.

Ashley stressed the importance of parents making sure kids are up to date with wellness checks and routine pediatric immunizations.

“It’s not just about protecting you; it’s about protecting your family. It’s about protecting the people that you’re around and your children’s friends,” he said. “Not everyone can get vaccinated. And so we want to make sure that those individuals that can get vaccinated do it so that they can protect everyone.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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