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State officials announce winners of kids COVID vaccination video contest

The winners of a Maine kids video contest encouraging vaccination against COVID were announced Wednesday.

MAINE, USA — The winners of a Maine kids video contest encouraging vaccination against COVID were announced Wednesday by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Education.

The winners are:

  • 1st place: Renée Morin (sophomore), Olie Saywell (sophomore), Hunter Roberts (junior, created original score), Ian Kruger (senior, camera operator); The New School (high school), Kennebunk
  • 2nd place: Spencer Michalski (8th grade), homeschooled, Columbia
  • 3rd place: Natalie Waters (6th grade), Lincoln Middle School, Portland

“My plunge into the frigid water was worth the sacrifice for the greater good,” Saywell said in a news release.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah showed the winning videos during the COVID briefing on Wednesday.

Watch the winning videos below. 

The contest started on Nov. 3 and asked Mainers ages five to 17 to submit 30-second videos they believed would encourage others to get vaccinated against COVID. 

“Congratulations to the winners of our Maine Kids COVID-19 Vaccination Video Contest, who displayed creativity, conviction, and courage in their submissions,” DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah said in the release. “We’re grateful to every Maine child and teenager who submitted an entry — they are all public health champions. Thanks to people like them, Maine is quickly getting enough students vaccinated to begin returning to more normal ways of learning and having fun.”

“Getting back to normal and doing our part to end the pandemic inspired us to submit to the contest,” the first-place team from The New School said. “By spreading awareness and empowering fellow young people with facts about vaccination, helping younger Mainers to not be afraid, and using skills we learned in video production, we hoped to contribute to positive public health messaging.”

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