Vermont: Increasing School Vaccination Rates Through Incentives


To boost COVID-19 vaccination uptake in school aged children, the governor and education agency in Vermont launched a school incentive program.


Schools are a viral illness transmission area, containing a diverse group of people in close physical contact. School absences attributable to potential COVID-19 exposure or contraction can therefore contribute to negative educational outcomes. Maintaining the health of Vermont’s students and public, as well as consistent education delivery, depends on student vaccination rates.


Vermont Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) launched the School Vaccine Incentive Program (SVIP) in December 2021 to boost student COVID-19 vaccination rates in both public and independent schools. The governor and AOE challenged schools to achieve a vaccination rate of 85% and gave schools an additional reward if they reached 90%. Schools had until April 1, 2022, to submit a SVIP application and raise vaccination rates to the benchmarks provided. SVIP was funded with $2,000,000 of state federal emergency funds. Schools meeting the 85% benchmark received $15/student for a minimum of $2,000, and a maximum of $10,000. Schools meeting the 90% benchmark could apply for an additional 50% of the initial award. Schools had to spend all funds by June 30, 2022. Schools were required to verify vaccination rates and include students in deciding how the respective awards would be spent. Vaccination rates were calculated using enrollment data from October 1, 2021.


This program brought additional visibility to the COVID-19 vaccination effort and incentivized students to play a larger role in vaccine advocacy. The inclusion of students in award spending decisions lent to increased child engagement.

Supplemental Resources


Years: 2021

Locations: Vermont

Programmatic Areas: Adolescent Immunization, COVID-19, Public Health Functions, school immunizations, Schools

Key Words: Adolescents, COVID-19, Health Promotion, school immunizations, Schools

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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