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UW System announces vaccination incentive campaign

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- University of Wisconsin System students will have the chance to win one of 70, $7,000 scholarships as part of the new "70 for 70" campaign.

Universities that participate must have 70 percent of their student population vaccinated in order for their students to win a scholarship. Students at all UW System universities will be eligible, except UW-Madison who will do their own campaign.

"You get 70 percent. You're fairly well protected on your campus, and that's what I want," said UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson. "I am pushing real hard to get this done and it's much better than masking up, if you have them vaxxed up. "

Students who have been vaccinated will notify their universities. When a university's student body reaches the 70 percent threshold, the vaccinated student body will become eligible for a drawing to award a proportionate number of the 70 scholarships. Schools that fail to meet that threshold will lose out on those scholarships, which will go to other schools that meet the threshold. Students must complete their vaccine series by October 15 in order to be eligible.

The new campaign is designed to reach students before the semester starts. Students will learn about their school's campaign by the university or their social media platforms. Student governments that help their campuses reach the 70 percent threshold will receive up to $5,000.

"It's going to allow the students to have that full college experience which we promised of 75 percent of classes in person, and in order to do that, in order to make everybody safe, we are asking people to vax up!" said Thompson.

The UW System will not require students to be vaccinated. Thompson said the 70 percent threshold was chosen based on estimates about the percentage to achieve herd immunity. The cost of the campaign is expected to be about $500,000 funded by the UW System.

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Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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