Jersey City high schools will participate in ‘vaccine contest’ where winners go to HOT 97 Summer Jam


All nine Jersey City high school will participate in a “vaccine contest” with the two that deliver the highest vaccination rates winning tickets to HOT 97 Summer Jam, Mayor Steven Fulop announced on the radio station this morning.

During a roughly 11-minute spot on the radio show “Ebro in the Morning,” Fulop said that their vaccination rates among teenagers are lagging at about 45 or 46 percent, compared to the overall city population, which is close to 80 percent.

The contest, which runs from August 4th through August 14th, aims to increase access and incentives for teens that have still not been vaccinated. Currently, anyone 12 years old and over is eligible to be inoculated.

The participating high schools will be separated into two categories based on size to ensure fairness: schools with less than 500 students and schools with more than 500 students.

One school in each group will win the Summer Jam, which will be held at MetLife stadium on August 22nd, concert tickets for all vaccinated students.  The winning school will be announced on the August 17th episode of “Ebro in the Morning.”

“Most vaccine incentive programs are not geared towards our youth where there is a significant vaccination gap nationwide,” Fulop said in a statement.

“That’s why we’re taking a different approach with Summer Jam, to create positive peer pressure and meet teens where they are to really incentivize them with major prizes that are specifically appealing to their age group. We hope to encourage a lot more students to get vaccinated before school starts, and we have additional incentives for families who join them.”

In addition to the Summer Jam tickets, families accompanying a student to a vaccine site will earn a $50 ShopRite gift card.

“Mayor Fulop has linked up with HOT 97 and Summer Jam.  You can get yourself Summer Jam tickets, but you have to make sure you get yourself vaccinated,” added Ebro.

“It’s hard for parents, especially in getting teenagers vaccinated.  As September comes around, it’s time to get back into the classrooms for a lot of students.  And so, this is a major announcement.”

Jersey City currently has 50 existing vaccinations sites citywide, including Ferris High School. In partnership with the Jersey City Schools, the City will also open three new sites at Dickson, Snyder, and Lincoln High Schools throughout the duration of the contest.

The high school sites will provide the Pfizer vaccine to anyone eligible and seeking immunization.

“We have put in place the safeguards necessary as most of our 30,000 students return to school next month, but it is up to the students to do their part and get vaccinated in order to add every possible layer of protection for everyone’s safety,” noted Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker.

“I hope our students can see past all of the misinformation floating around and take advantage of this contest to boost our vaccination rates as we countdown, for the first time in two years, to the first day of school.”

Free Uber rides are available to and from vaccine appointments for all students. Anyone in need of transportation can let the call center know when booking the vaccine appointment.

Additionally, students should show their school-issued ID to ensure an accurate count towards the contest.

All four high school vaccine sites will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. now through August 14th.

“As the most diverse City in the nation, we’ve had to work that much harder to target hard-to-reach populations from the beginning,” began Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan.

“By implementing innovative approaches, our efforts have proven successful, and this contest is the latest outreach initiative to incentivize the lowest performing population to get vaccinated before September.”

For the time being, Jersey City is in the majority among Hudson County municipalities that will not implement a municipal vaccine mandate after Hoboken announced their plans for one on Friday.

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