Jersey City and HOT 97 Radio partner for teen vaccine contest

Participating schools can compete for free concert tickets.

Jersey City high schools will compete for the highest vaccination rates to win free concert tickets. Photo by James Kirkikis /
Jersey City high schools will compete for the highest vaccination rates to win free concert tickets. Photo by James Kirkikis /

Jersey City is partnering with radio station HOT 97 for a teen vaccine contest to get teenagers vaccinated for COVID-19 and compete for a chance to win concert tickets this month.

Taking place from August 4 to 14, all nine public high schools in the city will compete to get the highest vaccination rates. The schools will be divided into two groups: schools with less than 500 students and schools with more than 500 students.

The winners in each group will win free tickets to the HOT 97 Summer Jam concert at MetLife Stadium on August 22 for the entire vaccinated student body. The winners will be announced on August 17 on HOT 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” show.

“Most vaccine incentive programs are not geared toward our youth where there is a significant vaccination gap nationwide,” said Mayor Steven Fulop in a statement. “That’s why we’re taking a different approach with Summer Jam, to create positive peer pressure and meet teens where they are to really incentivize them with major prizes that are specifically appealing to their age group.”

The schools participating in the contest are:

  • Henry Snyder High School
  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • William L. Dickinson High School
  • James J. Ferris High School
  • Liberty High School
  • Infinity Institute
  • Innovation High School
  • McNair Academic High School
  • University Academy Charter School

The contest comes after the vaccine rates in New Jersey have stagnated, and the threat of the delta variant looms. In Jersey City, less than 50 percent of teens are vaccinated compared to over 70 percent of the general population, according to a Jersey City spokesperson. In Hudson County, 57 percent of the population are fully vaccinated. City officials hope that the contest will help increase the number of students vaccinated before the school year begins this fall.

Along with the 50 current city vaccine sites, vaccines are offered at Ferris High School, and three news sites will be opened at Dickinson, Snyder and Lincoln High Schools throughout the contest. The school sites will offer the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently the only vaccine in the United States authorized for ages 12 and older. They will be open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through August 14.

Students are asked to show their school-issued IDs at the appointment for the contest counting. Families accompanying a student to a vaccine site will earn a $50 Shoprite gift card.

Call 201-373-2316 or visit to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome. Free Uber rides are available to and from vaccine appointments for all students. Those in need of transportation can let the call center know when booking an appointment.