State of Ohio
The new scholarship lottery opens Monday
The state of Ohio will on Monday begin accepting applications for the new Vax 2 School scholarship lottery at ohiovax2school.com
or by phone at 1-833-427-5634.
"Since Aug. 15, there have been more than 42,000 confirmed or probable cases of Covid among school-age kids in Ohio ages 5-17," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said last month when he announced the program. "The 27 days with the highest number of cases per day throughout our entire pandemic for children ages 5-17 have been since school began."
Much like Ohio's Vax-a-Million program, the new offering is a lottery and the state announced today it will be handing out far more in scholarships than it initially said it would last week: There will now be five $100,000 scholarships and 150 $10,000 scholarships.
"We've done very well in vaccinating Ohio's older adult population. The percentage of Ohioans over the age of 40 is 73%. If we go to 65 and older, that number is 84%. Both are pretty good numbers," he said. "If you look at younger Ohioans, we don't find such good news. The rate of first dose for Ohioans ages 12 to 25 is just 46% statewide, and we know there are many, many communities across Ohio where that number for that age group is vastly below 46%."
It's the age group with the most room to grow, but beyond that, DeWine said the impetus was keeping kids in school.
"Keeping our kids in school, in person, is a top priority for this state," he said. "It's so very, very important, and the best way for those 12 and above, the best way to stay in school is become vaccinated. Students who are vaccinated don't have to quarantine when they're exposed. It's the ticket, it means they don't have to miss school."
Ohio planned on drawing winners this month but will delay that as it waits to see if the FDA approves Covid-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11 on an emergency use basis, which would allow more students to qualify. Officials said today the drawings will happen this year at some point though.