DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor DeWine’s Vax-2-School incentive is now expanding age groups and range of money for people getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pending the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 5-11, Ohio state leaders plan to expand those eligible for Vax-2-School from 12-25 to 5-25 years old.

Along with these plans for age expansion, Ohio Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says Vax-t0-School will also be offering people who apply more money. “Ohio Vax-2-School will double the prizes from the 1 million dollars announced by Governor DeWine, to 2 million dollars in total prizes,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

This also includes 150 $10,000 Ohio 529 College Advantage Plan Scholarships, along with five $100,000 Grand Prize Scholarships. “Rather than being limited to Ohioans 12 to 25, pending FDA authorization, the program will expand to ages 5 to 25,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

Ohioans are currently experiencing a 21 daily case average of 6,535. Also, 257 Ohioans are being admitted to hospitals across the state daily. “A year ago at this time we were averaging around 1-thousand cases per day with 68 daily hospitalizations,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

Dayton Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adam Mezoff says he and his team continue to see children sick with COVID-19, and is hopeful these incentives get more people vaccinated. “The challenge is that it’s significantly effecting children much more so than most other infections that we’ve seen,” said Dr. Mezoff.

Once the Vax-2-School website opens on October 4th, people under the age of 17 must be registered through a parent. “There are 2 sections for registration. One on the website, one for minors and another one for age groups of 18-25,” said Ohio Lottery Commission Director Pat McDonald.

McDonald says at least proof of a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is required for people who apply. “The drawings will be conducted using a random number generator,” said McDonald.

Dr. Vanderhoff hopes this incentive increases the amount of vaccination across the state while decreasing hospitalizations and daily COVID-19 cases. “Now is an ideal time to talk to your pediatrician or pharmacist or other trusted health care provider to get the facts about covid19 vaccines,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

McDonald says once the website opens October 4th, even Ohioans who already registered for the Vax-a-Million lottery must register once again for Ohio’s Vax-2-School Lottery.