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UW-L starts program to boost student vaccination rates

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - As the fall semester approaches, UW-La Crosse announces a program to increase the number of students vaccinated against COVID-19.

Students who are fully vaccinated by October 15 are eligible to enter into drawings for prizes and scholarships. Students need to fill out a short survey and grant permission for the UWL's Student Health Center to confirm their vaccination status.

It ties in with the UW System's 70 for 70 campaign that kicked off on Sunday. 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.

If UWL reaches 70 percent, they would have at least seven $7,000 scholarships available.

The university said the 70% mark is based on estimates for reaching herd immunity which indicates a base level of community-wide protection.

While the coming school year may look more like past years, Chancellor Joe Gow said vaccinations are key to helping return the university and community back to normal. “We are excited to be regaining a sense of normalcy, but we also know COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our campus and community,” Gow said in a statement. “High vaccination rates are the key to not only protecting health and safety, but returning to normal as quickly as possible. As they’ve done throughout the pandemic, I hope our students will lead by example and do their part.”  

As of Monday, more than 3,000 students have already filled out the survey, with 85% indicating they're fully vaccinated. Another 6% said they're in the process of getting vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated.

The UW System and UW-L aren't requiring student vaccinations for the coming year but said they are encouraging students to receive the vaccine.

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Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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