DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The deadline to enter the first drawing of DeWine’s Vax-2-School scholarship incentive ends Sunday, November 21, 2021 and state leaders are reporting an increase in younger Ohioans starting the vaccination process.

“Covid is still with us, you still need to get vaccinated, and you still need to take precautions,” said Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County PIO, Dan Suffoletto. 

Health leaders warn communities to start the vaccination process for younger Ohioans as soon as possible to keep holidays safe, but also for a chance to enter the Vax-2-School scholarship incentive.

Any 5-to-25-year-old student across the state who has started the vaccination process is eligible to enter. There will be 150, $10,000 winners and five grand prize winners who will receive $100,000 scholarships. Health leaders report nearly 9-percent of eligible 5-to-11-year-olds have started the vaccination process.

“We just opened up vaccinations for that 5-to-11 age group where previously they were not eligible, so there are some people getting vaccinated right now but not seeing large numbers, we still need more of that age group,” said Suffoletto.

Public Health reports a 32-percent increase in cases in Montgomery County schools and a 24-percent increase among Greene County schools. As time passes, Suffoletto is optimistic the vaccination rate among younger Ohioans will increase if cases in schools keep rising as well.

“Certainly, it’s always a challenge for younger people because they tend to gather together and it’s not just in school, but also at home, at the playground and other activities with friends,” said Suffoletto. “Also, some students are wearing masks in school, some are not.”

The winners will be announced Nov. 29 through Dec. 3rd.