Emily Bush • Staff Writer
On Sept. 17, 2021, UT Tyler established a vaccine incentive program titled “Vaccinate to Win.”
It’s a program designed to reward students who have already been fully vaccinated and convince others to receive the vaccine as well. This effort is in response to the Delta variant sweeping quickly across Smith County, the rest of Texas, and the country.
According to the CDC website, “COVID 19-vaccines are effective. They can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” Also, “getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”
UT Tyler will incentivize students to get the vaccine by holding weekly drawings for all fully vaccinated students beginning Sept. 22 through Oct. 20. They will pull names every Wednesday, and the prize pool will consist of the following every week:
16 $250 Visa gift cards
7 $300 student grant awards
5 $500 student grant awards
2 $1,000 student grant awards
There is also going to be a grand prize drawing, where 10 $3,000 student grant awards will be given on Oct. 27. Those who have already won one of the previous prizes can also win the grand prize.
To register, students must submit a copy of their CDC-issued vaccination card (or appropriate documentation if received abroad). Email email@example.com with the following information: your name, your student ID, and a picture or scan of your vaccination card. Students can also bring the requirements to the Enrollment Service Center.
After looking into how polarizing a topic vaccines can be, some students in the English classes presented how they felt about the vaccine incentive, one being Senior English major Laura Warburton.
“It shows the faculty is willing to try, which is nice to see. Especially because it seems like because of where we live, it seems like a lot of people are not taking it seriously still even showing the hospitalization count with the Delta Variant,” she said while considering the pros of the program.
However, with such a unique incentive, there can be some drawbacks. The program does not consider how long the option of vaccination has been on the table. With this in mind, Warburton also demonstrated her view of what could go wrong with an incentive like this.
“I think that the people that care and want to be vaccinated already have been, and an incentive program, while I think is a good step in the right direction, I don’t think it’s going to change people’s minds at this point,” she explained.
For those who are fully-vaccinated, there is the opportunity to sign up for Vaccinate to Win to receive awards that could help during your next semester.