USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman Remarks at Gov. Hogan Press Conference Announcing VaxU Scholarship Promotion

College Park, Md. (July 7, 2021) -- Thank you, Governor. I’m so happy to be here today.

I hope the scholarships Gov. Hogan just announced persuade more young people to get vaccinated against COVID; persuade more parents to take their children in for the shot. I can’t imagine a better incentive than a covered college education.

And I’d be derelict in my duties as chancellor if I didn’t say that I hope the scholarships lead more Maryland students to discover one of the University System’s 12 institutions. We have something for every learner. Every student can find a home—a community—within our public university system. And I promise you this: Your dollars will go far with us.

But I’m not only the chancellor. I’m also a practicing pediatrician, and so I have another reason to applaud this program. As you just heard the governor say, we hit a huge milestone ahead of the July 4th holiday—three-quarters of Maryland adults with at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

That’s terrific news, and I’m grateful to be in a state that has made vaccination a public health priority—a state that took its vaccine rollout seriously from the earliest days. But we cannot let up. We know that vaccination is lagging among certain populations—young adults, teenagers. And we also know that young people do get sick with this virus. We’re particularly concerned about the threat of the Delta variant.

So as someone who’s cared for children my entire career, I’m fully on-board with anything—with everything—that protects our young people. And if these scholarships get vaccines into the arms of more adolescents and more teenagers, then count me in.

For me, it’s a perfect marriage: We’re pairing the health of our young people with their chance at a no-cost or low-cost college education. I thank the governor and his cabinet for this generous program.

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Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719