Nassau, Suffolk launch programs designed to get youth vaccinated against COVID-19
Nassau and Suffolk County officials announced programs Wednesday designed to encourage teens and younger residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
President Joe Biden wants 70% of all adults here in the U.S. to be vaccinated by July 4.
Locally, there's now a major push to get that message out to younger Long Islanders. Nassau County is targeting teens by using teens and there's an incentive.
"Students who participate as ambassadors are going to get two days of community service from the county. We'll write a letter and that's their community service. If they get vaccinated at this site through this service right here, just getting vaccinated, you get six hours of community service," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
The goal is to vaccinate 500 high schoolers a day over a four-day period next week at Nassau Community College.
In Suffolk County, the focus is to vaccinate the 21 and over crowd. County Executive Steve Bellone announced the launch the "Lift Your Spirits, Take Your Shot" campaign for the month of May.
It is open to all 21+ for the month to get a drink ticket at a brewery, distillery or winery that must be redeemed by May 31. Bellone added though that there is a chance that the program gets extended.
"As part of that initiative, residents who are 21 and over who get their vaccination at a Suffolk County-run pod during the month of May, will receive a ticket that can be redeemed at one of the participating breweries, wineries and distilleries for a free beer, tasting, glass of wine or a cocktail," Bellone said.
There currently are eight participating establishments:
- Del Vino Vineyards in Northport
- Raphael Vineyard & Winery in Peconic
- Peconic County Brewing in Riverhead
- Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in Greenport
- Spider Bite Beer Company in Holbrook
- Montauk Brewing Company in Montauk
- Twin Fork Beer Company in Riverhead
- Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow
Bellone said while the program is a great incentive, he thinks it's also a big win for bringing new customers to local businesses.
Participating businesses say the program will also encourage more residents to get vaccinated.
"Raphael is sponsoring the East End. Del Vino will be sponsoring the West End of Suffolk County and we do believe that together, all of us who are sponsoring this program, will see an uptick in activity so that people will not only be comfortable, but also that they'll feel safe," said Fred Giachetti, co-owner of Del Vino Vineyards.
VACCINE INFORMATION: What you need to know
VACCINE TRACKER: Check the latest vaccine statistics from New York