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Oklahoma State University Offers Incentives For Students To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Phil Shockley / Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University wants as many of its Cowpokes to get 'poked' before classes start again this fall.

That’s why the university is offering raffle prizes like scholarships, iPads and parking passes to students as part of its 'Poke-a-thon' campaign.

While almost 600 universities around the country are requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Oklahoma colleges can't do that thanks to Senate Bill 658. The law, that went into effect at the beginning of July, prevents coronavirus vaccine mandates by educational institutions.

The list of incentives for OSU students getting vaccinated include:

  • Three $3,500 Bursar scholarships in the form of Bursar credit
  • Two suite tickets to a Cowboy football home game
  • Two club-level tickets to a Cowboy football home game
  • Two Fan Experience packages at a Cowboy football home game
  • Two Apple iPads
  • Two Apple Airpods
  • Five $50 gift cards for campus dining
  • 10 $100 gift cards for the University Store
  • 10 free parking passes
  • Three free campus bike rentals
  • Giveaways from local Stillwater businesses

OSU students will upload proof of their vaccination to the University Health Services (UHS) portal. Submission of the vaccination card is their entry into a raffle, which will occur every week for eight weeks beginning Aug. 18. Students who received their vaccination through UHS will be automatically entered in the raffle.

UHS will offer pop-up vaccination clinics on campus throughout August and Payne County Health Department will also offer vaccinations during the Lights on Stillwater event at Boone Pickens Stadium, between 7 and 9 p.m. on Aug. 18.

The university will encourage students to use the #pokeathon hashtag while posting about getting their vaccines on social media.

OSU also announced Thursday that it is encouraging students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors on campus to comply with new CDC guidelines on masking. The university can't mandate masks because of the same state law that bars vaccinations.

The latest state epidemiology report shows that just 26 percent of Oklahomans between the ages of 18 and 24 are fully vaccinated.

Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
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