Washington, DC: COVID-19 Youth Vaccination Compensation


Washington, DC, used prize incentives to encourage youth COVID-19 vaccination.


In early 2022, some Washington, DC, wards had disproportionately lower youth vaccination rates than other wards in the district. The district sought to address the issue of inconsistent youth vaccination rates by offering compensation to be vaccinated.


The “Take the Shot, DC” COVID-19 campaign provided compensation for youths receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. The campaign expanded its target group from only adults to include Washington, DC, students ages 12-17. The program gave legal guardians of students $51 gift cards and other gifts and prizes, in appreciation of their children receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. Raffle prizes, like vehicles, were also distributed. The program began providing prizes for vaccination on October 2, 2022. Prizes could be obtained from participating at a youth vaccination site located at local schools and libraries. Gift eligibility is determined by the following: school enrollment and residency in the District of Columbia, 12-21 years old, accompaniment by a legal guardian, and consent from the guardian that the student can obtain the prize. The program announcement contains specific guidelines for proof of eligibility, liability information, and other terms and conditions.


Washington DC, achieved a 100% vaccination rate for children ages 12-17 as of March 23, 2022. No other states in the country had achieved this rate.

Supplemental Resources

Years: 2022

Locations: D.C.

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

Key Words: Adolescents, Communication, COVID-19, Health Equity, Health Promotion, outbreak management, public awareness, school immunizations, Schools

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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