Vaccine incentive program kicks off in DC

D.C. officials aim for a strong start to the school year by encouraging students and their parents to get vaccinated.

The city’s youth vaccination incentive program kicked off Saturday at three local middle schools.

“We are doing so much this year to ensure that our school buildings are safe, that our school communities will be safe as we return to the vital in-person schooling we all know is essential for our young learners,” Paul Kihn, the District’s Deputy Mayor for Education, said.

Kihn, alongside other D.C. officials, attended the Saturday immunization event at Souza Middle School as parents and their children walked in and signed up for free routine immunizations and the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Lewis D. Ferebee was also at the event.

“I have a teenager myself, who’s a DCPS student and made the decision to show that he was vaccinated,”  Ferebee said.

A teen gets a vaccine during the District’s vaccine incentive program to encourage those 12-years-old and up to get routine vaccinations as well as the coronavirus vaccine. (WTOP/Monique Blyther)

A vaccine incentive program at three D.C. middle schools kicked off on Saturday. (WTOP/Monique Blyther)

A woman readies for her COIVD-19 shot during a vaccine incentive program at a D.C. middle school on Saturday. (WTOP/Monique Blyther)

Health workers pose with a check as a vaccine incentive program at three D.C. middle schools kicked off on Saturday. (WTOP/Monique Blyther)

A man looks at his vaccination card during an immunization incentive program at a D.C. middle school on Saturday. (WTOP/Monique Blyther)

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Students, 12 years old and up, who got the vaccine on Saturday walked away with free prizes such as Air Pods, gift cards and the chance to win a $25,000 scholarship.

Other participating schools include Brooklyn Middle School and Johnson Middle School.

“The data is really clear, the science is clear,” Chancellor Ferebee said. “Of those individuals who are testing positive and vaccinated, the symptoms have been minimal.”

Monique Blyther

Monique Blyther is a Telly Award-winning video journalist with more than 20 years of experience in digital media production. She graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in journalism, and studied digital marketing at Georgetown University.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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