covid-19 vaccine

Here's Why 2 Maryland Young People, 12 and 15, Say They Got the COVID-19 Vaccine

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As Maryland focuses on getting young people vaccinated against COVID-19, News4 spoke with two children about what made them want to get the shot.

For 15-year-old Kendall Washington, getting the COVID vaccine was an easy choice.

"Before it was 16 and up and I'm not 16 yet so I was just waiting for my opportunity. So then, when the opportunity finally came, I was like why not go for it?" Washington said.

Derrick Massie, 12, says he also knew what he wanted to do right away.

"I really wanted to make sure to protect my fellow classmates and teachers," Massie said.

But both of these Prince George's County public school students say they have friends who aren't vaccinated.

"I would say a lot of my friends who are in my circle are vaccinated, however, I do know some of my friends are kind of on the edge of should I get it? Should I not?" Washington said.

"If any of our 12 to 17-year-olds or their parents needed another good reason, now they can go out and get vaccinated for a chance to win a $50,000 college scholarship," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.

After the success of Maryland's adult lottery, the state is offering 20 drawings for $50,000 scholarships for vaccinated children starting Monday.

"Some unvaccinated folks, about a third of them, are waiting for full approval of the FDA or they're looking for incentives," Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said.

Schrader said 51% of Maryland's 12 to 17 year-olds are vaccinated so far.

"Their parents have to encourage them so we are really looking for support from parents," he said.

"When you're faced with an opportunity to protect others - not only others, but yourself - you should go for it," Washington said.

Next week, Prince George's County will kick off mobile vaccination clinics at high schools.

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