Abby Hanson, 11, gets her first shot of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, Calif. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 - the first day children 5 - 11 years old can get inoculated. (Jana Kadah/Bay City News)

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced the winners Monday of a contest among middle and high school students to create short videos encouraging COVID-19 vaccination and debunking misinformation.

More than 70 teams and 123 students between sixth and 12th grades competed in the VaxUp Video Contest, with winners chosen among categories of sixth to eighth graders and ninth to 12th graders.

Students were asked to create videos between 30 and 60 seconds and post them to Instagram and TikTok. The county accepted submissions through Nov. 15.

“Kids and teens have shown resilience, perseverance and maturity throughout this pandemic,” county Health Officer and Public Health Department Director Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. “We hope this contest gave youth a creative outlet to show our community what vaccinations mean to them.”

First, second and third place winners received prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively. In addition, schools with a first-place winner received $500, according to the county. Prize money was funded by the Valley Medical Center Foundation.

Among the sixth-to-eighth-grade category, Discovery Charter School Falcon Campus students Shrimath Senthil, Adam Rosas, Ethan Choi and Alex Foisie took first place; Peterson Middle School student Ien Chen took second; and Silicon Valley Academy students Sherif Elqursh, Hesan Helal and Amr Ibrahim took third place.

In the ninth-to-12th-grade category, University Preparatory Academy student Reya Yeddula won first place; Adrian Wilcox High School student Daniel Moghaddam Panah took second; and Cupertino High School students Alejandra Blanco, Ana Blanco, Jovannah Uribe, Diana Morante Melendez and Heidi Aguilar placed third.

Winning videos can be found on the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s YouTube channel at