By David Williams, CNN
Auburn University is giving away scholarships, unlimited meal plan upgrades, priority class registration and other perks to encourage students to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Alabama school announced the program this week, as the state’s vaccination rate lags behind the rest of the United States.
Only 34.2% of Alabama residents are fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to 49.3% of the United States’ population.
Fully-vaccinated students attending Auburn in the fall can enter a drawing and there will also be prizes for the campus organizations with the most vaccinated members, according to a post on the school’s website.
One of the top prizes is an A-zone parking pass for the semester, which are usually for school employees. Students could also win $1,000 scholarships, VIP graduation parking passes and a chance to have lunch with Auburn President Jay Gogue.
Winners will have to show proof that they’ve gotten two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to claim their prizes, the school’s website said.
More than 30,000 students were enrolled at Auburn last year.
The University of Alabama is offering every vaccinated student $20 in Bama Cash that can be spent at restaurants, stores and other locations around Tuscaloosa.
Students, faculty and staff are not required to have the Covid-19 vaccine under state law, and the university does not have records of how many have been vaccinated.
More than 100 US colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated before they return to school next semester.
Last week, a federal judge preliminarily upheld Indiana University’s vaccine requirement after a group of students filed a lawsuit.
Auburn plans to “offer a traditional in-person experience for the fall 2021,” its website said.
It will require everyone to wear masks in classrooms and instructional labs, public transportation, health care settings and other marked locations.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask at all indoor university facilities unless they are eating.
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