Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine Could Win You $1,000


Receiving $1,000 for getting a shot in your arm might seem like a scam, but the University of North Georgia announced that vaccinated students and faculty members can enter to win one of 50, $1,000 awards. 

That’s right, if you are a vaccinated UNG student or staff member, you could possibly win a $1,000 award by entering the raffle. Even if you are not vaccinated it isn’t too late. UNG is offering an additional incentive of $20 and t-shirt to students and staff members who get fully vaccinated on campus between Aug. 18- Oct. 15. These awards will be transferred directly into a student’s account, and employees on their payroll. Winners will have to show proof of vaccination when notified that they have been selected.

Colleges across the United States are implementing similar incentives, and some have even started charging unvaccinated students fees according to NPR. Some of the incentives offered at other universities include laptops, gift certificates, free parking, and even a semester of free tuition. The sudden surge of vaccine incentives came after the White House and Department of Education created the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, an initiative set up to help colleges engage, organize and vaccinate its populations. The University of Georgia is offering gift cards and t-shirts to students who get vaccinated on campus, and additional cash prizes of $1,000. UGA has already given out 20 prizes, and has a total of 100 to give out. So far the university has already administered 25,000 vaccines through its Health Center. Valdosta State University is offering tuition grants, parking permits, Airpods, Apple watches, sports season passes, and various gift cards for vaccinated students who enter to win.

The effectiveness of these new vaccination mandates and incentives have sparked controversy between students. Kaitlyn Johnson, a junior nursing major on UNG’s Dahlonega campus, says “The prizes might lead to a little bit of an increase, but I really think that the people who haven’t gotten vaccinated yet aren’t going to because they think that COVID-19 is a hoax.” Kayley Avian, a junior biology major on the Gainesville campus, says, “I think people love “free” stuff. So in a way, I think there is a good chance that there will be a slight increase. It seems to be a good way to get people’s attention, that’s for sure.”

As for mandating the vaccine, Kalin Han, a sophomore biology major on the Gainesville campus says, “I don’t think UNG should force people to get vaccinated. Students have the right to decide if they want to or not. Also, people that actually can’t take the vaccine due to medical reasons like allergies or conditions should be accounted for.” Lauren Han, a junior biology major on the Gainesville campus disagrees saying vaccines should be mandated because, “It’s for the safety of other students, faculty and their loved ones. UNG has their own right to mandate over the safety and concerns of other students that are particularly concerned and are high-risk.”

According to USA Today there have been a total of 36,547,639 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have resulted in 616,711 deaths in the United States alone. So far 51.1% of the American population is vaccinated, and only 40.1% of Georgians, with 15.5% of Georgians saying they will refuse to get the vaccine. 

Photo by Emma Keisler. UNG offers free Flu Shots, Vaccines, and COVID-19 Testing on campus.