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Penn State Launches Weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Drawings

To help encourage vaccinations across the university, Penn State is launching a new program to provide incentives for fully vaccinated students and employees.

From June 7 to August 23, Penn State will host weekly raffles and drawings for students and employees who are fully vaccinated. Prizes for the program include $1,000 payments, $100 Barnes & Noble gift cards, and footballs signed by James Franklin.

Penn State also suggested fully vaccinated students could become exempt from certain health and safety protocols like COVID-19 testing and mandatory quarantines. In a statement, the university said it will use submitted data to help plan for the fall semester and modify approaches if needed.

To join the program, fully vaccinated students need to upload their completed vaccine cards to myUHS, while employees can follow this step-by-step guide. Both need to complete this online form to fully qualify for the drawings.

Starting June 2, employees and World Campus students can upload their vaccine cards through SalesForce Health Cloud.

The incentive program is open to every Penn State student and employee who is fully vaccinated — not just those who become fully vaccinated in the near future.

Penn State hasn’t yet required vaccinations for students and employees, and at this point, it seems unlikely to do so. For now, administrators only strongly encourage the vaccine ahead of the fall semester.

“At this time there is no better or easier way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 than to get vaccinated,” said Kelly Wolgast, director of Penn State’s COVID-19 Operations Control Center. “The vaccines are scientifically proven to be effective. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes time for the vaccine to be fully effective…For this reason, we encourage students to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that they are fully immunized before the start of the fall semester.”

Penn State said University Health Services will host a vaccine clinic in the HUB on June 28 and 29 to help encourage vaccinations. More information should be available later this month.

Penn State’s newly announced program is consistent with messaging surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations. Despite a May Faculty Senate vote encouraging vaccine requirements, administrators like Provost Nick Jones have reiterated Penn State is more comfortable incentivizing shots than outright requiring them.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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