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Mayor Bowser Encourages DC Students to Get Vaccinated and Lock In Their Chance to Win a $25,000 College Scholarship

Friday, September 10, 2021
DC to Randomly Select Eligible, Vaccinated Students as Winners of College Scholarships and iPads

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser is reminding DC students and families that, starting this month, all vaccinated District youth ages 12-17 will be eligible to win a $25,000 college scholarship or an iPad with a pair of Beats headphones. As part of the Take the Shot, Youth DC Giveaway, eight students will be selected as potential winners of a $25,000 scholarship through the establishment of a new 529 DC College Savings Plan account, and 32 students will be selected as potential winners of a new iPad and headphones.

“As we have seen with the start of school, it is more important than ever that eligible students get vaccinated to protect their families, friends, and teachers, and also to ensure they don’t miss valuable time in the classroom,” said Mayor Bowser. “If there wasn’t enough reason to get vaccinated, we don’t want students missing out on their chance to win a $25,000 college scholarship or a brand-new iPad. There’s no better time to Take the Shot, DC.”

The District will award prizes in four batches that students will be randomly sorted into. A student is eligible to win if they have received at least one of the two required COVID-19 vaccination shots. Once student names are drawn, a District representative will reach out to the family to confirm the student’s vaccination status. If the student is already vaccinated, they will be able to claim their prize. The student may only become an Official Giveaway Winner and collect a prize when the student provides proof of a second vaccination shot. More information on the Take the Shot, DC Youth Vaccine Giveaway can be found at

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the District, 65.7% of all residents are partially or fully vaccinated. About 76% of residents 18 years and older are partially or fully vaccinated. 76% of residents 12 years and older are partially or fully vaccinated.

Take the Shot and Receive a Free Pair of AirPods or $51 Gift Card

Students ages 12-17 can still receive a $51 gift card or a free pair of AirPods by receiving their first shot at three DC Public Schools: Brookland Middle School, Sousa Middle School, and Johnson Middle School. These sites operate Tuesday – Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. All DC youth can claim their free COVID-19 vaccine at these sites regardless of which school they attend. The gift cards and AirPods are available to District youth ages 12 to 17, as well as students ages 18 to 21 and currently enrolled in a DC school seeking a high school diploma.

Parents or guardians who bring their children to one of these three sites are also eligible to receive one $51 VISA gift card per child who gets vaccinated.

The $51 VISA gift cards will continue to be available to all DC residents 12 and older who get vaccinated at Fort Stanton Recreation Center or Dorothy Height/Benning Library.

Using to Make Appointments for Required Immunizations

Mayor Bowser also reminded families to schedule well-child visits and ensure students are caught up on required immunizations. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended for all students 12 and older, but is not considered a required immunization. District law and regulations require all schools in the District, including private, parochial, and independent schools, to verify student compliance with the immunization requirements as part of enrollment and attendance.

Students and families can schedule appointments to receive their required immunizations through Appointments are available at participating DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter school locations, and families can make an appointment regardless of a student’s school of enrollment. Participating school sites have partnered with pharmacies and hospital-based providers. While many sites offer walk-up COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, families are asked to make an appointment for required immunizations so that providers have time to access a child’s immunization history.

Families are also encouraged to call their child’s doctor now to schedule an appointment for their vaccines and annual physicals.

Additional Opportunities to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Residents can find the closest available vaccination location at or by texting their zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish. Residents who are unable to leave home to get vaccinated can call 1-855-363-0333 to make an appointment for a free at-home vaccination.