NEWARK - The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health, Oct. 9 announced the launch of the eighth annual Protect Me With 3+ poster and video contest.  

According to a release, the contest challenges New Jersey youth in middle and high school to raise awareness about the importance of adolescent immunizations: tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap), human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) and flu vaccines. 

Last year, the contest received more than 300 entries from students across New Jersey.

“The Protect Me With 3+ contest aims to educate students about the importance of adolescent immunizations while promoting teamwork, collaboration, and art,” stated Dr. Tina Tan, state epidemiologist and assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health. “The Department of Health encourages teachers to make the contest a class project in an effort to raise vaccination rates in their schools and communities.”

Starting Oct. 9, middle school and high school students can participate in the contest by submitting a hand-drawn poster or an original computer-generated poster that integrates key facts about one of the adolescent vaccines listed above. 

This year, both middle school and high school students have the option to submit a video up to 30 seconds long in the place of a poster. 

The submission deadline is Jan. 26, 2020. 

Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in the video and poster categories, and the winning entries will be showcased during various statewide immunization awareness activities.

Additionally, students who submit entries by Jan. 1, 2020 will be entered into random drawings to win prizes courtesy of Protect Me With 3+ event sponsors. 

For information about Protect Me With 3+ sponsorship opportunities, visit https://bit.ly/2LYVGjI.

The top five finalists in each of the three categories will be posted on www.protectmewith3.com for public voting in March. 

The winners will then be announced and honored at an awards ceremony in April.

New Jersey teachers are encouraged to make the Protect Me With 3+ contest a class project. 

As an added incentive, prizes will be awarded to the classrooms with the most eligible submissions in each of the three categories. 

“Vaccinations save lives. Programs like Protect Me with 3+ reinforce this important message for parents, teachers, and nurses,” stated Ilise Zimmerman, president and CEO of the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey. “We’re proud to collaborate with the Department of Health and advocate for critical preventive care for children and teens.”

Information regarding eligibility, video and poster submission guidelines, and contest rules can be found at www.protectmewith3.com.