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Governor announces sweepstakes for 25 $50,000 scholarships for children 12-17 who get the COVID vaccine

The scholarship is meant to encourage young people between 12 and 17 to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

COLORADO, USA — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) announced that the state will offer 25 scholarships worth $50,000 to children between 12 and 17 who chose to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Those scholarships will be given through five random drawings between June 7 and July 9, and will be placed into a College Invest Fund. 

This incentive is in addition to the five $1 million drawings for adults who get vaccinated. 

Polis has said that everyone who gets vaccinated will be entered into the drawings, but people have reported difficulty finding themselves in the state's database. 

RELATED: Here's how to check if you're in the state vaccine database before the $1 million drawing

RELATED: Coloradans who want in on vaccine sweepstakes say database is missing their names

The first drawing for the $1 million prize is on Friday, and Tuesday was the last day for people to get at least one shot to be entered. 

Here's the timeline for the scholarship drawing. Polis said that a quarter of children 12 to 17 have gotten the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only option that's been approved for people from that age group. 

Credit: Marshall Zelinger

The scholarships can be used at both in-state and out-of-state colleges. 

As of this writing, 52.6% of Coloradans have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Experts have said that it may take a number closer to 70% to reach herd immunity, or a level at which COVID-19 would have difficulty spreading within a community. 

RELATED: 'The worst-case scenario has passed us': How these breweries survived the COVID pandemic

Colorado's incentive program is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and uses money that would have previously gone toward marketing to persuade people to get vaccinated. 

Polis has said that he believes the sweepstakes will be more effective. 

Multiple other states have launched similar programs.

During Wednesday's news conference announcing the scholarships, Polis said he believes vaccination rates would have decreased more without the incentives, and that he's hopeful people who have been waiting to get the vaccine will now have a reason to do so sooner. 

“What I think would have happened without this giveaway is a greater rapid dropoff in interest," Polis said. “I don’t think anyone was expecting a spike.”

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