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UW System incentivizing vaccinations with $7,000 scholarships

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new incentive program through the UW System could allow a student to win a $7,000 scholarship if their fellow students get vaccinated.

Officials announced the "70 for 70" campaign Sunday morning. Anyone vaccinated at universities that achieve 70 percent vaccination rates will be eligible for one of the 70 scholarships. UW-Madison students are not eligible for the drawing.

When a student gets vaccinated, they notify their university. Once 70 percent of the students have notified officials, the drawings can begin. To be eligible to receive a scholarship, students must receive their full series of vaccinations by Oct. 15. If some universities don't meet the threshold, the share of scholarships awarded in the drawing will increase at universities that do meet the threshold.

The UW System says the campaign is expected to cost about $500,000.

“Getting students vaccinated now is why the UW System is making this commitment,” said Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson. “We are investing for success and vaccinated students will not only keep our campuses safe and healthy but also help us to avoid the human and capital costs associated with outbreaks we want to prevent.”

The system is not requiring students to be vaccinated. The 70 percent threshold comes from the percentage of the population needed to reach herd immunity.

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