DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: To encourage younger populations to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) has created a new contest.


“To promote youth vaccinations, the Health Unit is offering an added incentive for youth to get vaccinated, with its #StickItToCovid contest,” read an HKPR press release. “Any person ages 12 to 17 years, living in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, who have had first or second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by September 30th, 2021, will be entered in a prize draw to win Air Pods or Apple gift cards. The prize draw is open to those youth who have previously had their COVID-19 vaccines or plan to get it now.”


Those who wish to enter the contest can email stickittocovid@hkpr.on.ca or call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1508 and leave a message. People must leave the name and phone number of the child to be eligible for the contest.


“Youth need to get vaccinated now to ensure they are either fully or partially vaccinated in time for the start of school,” Local medical officer of health Dr. Natalie Bocking explained in a statement. “We tend to see a lot of respiratory viruses in the fall, and with the Delta variant behind most of the new COVID-19 cases, a fourth wave of illness is a real possibility.”


The health unit also has a social media strategy to encourage youth vaccinations.


“The Health Unit is also using the hashtag #StickItToCovid, on its social media platforms and as part of its selfie station at each COVID-19 vaccination clinic, to encourage youth to take a stand against COVID-19. As part of this, #StickItToCovid videos featuring local youth, parents, athletes and health care providers are also being shared via social media,” read the HKPR press release.