Florida A&M University (FAMU) has launched an aggressive campaign offering up to $1 million in prizes to encourage students and employees to get vaccinated to safeguard the full return of in-person instruction and activities this fall.
To kick off the campaign, FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., appeared in a video using the phrase “We can’t be FAM without U being vaccinated.”
“We are committed to our fight to keep this community safe,” Robinson said. “We urge our students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the people they love as well as this University. Let’s keep the excitement and joy of returning to campus alive.”
The stepped-up campaign coincides with a dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Tallahassee, Florida, and the nation. Health officials say the vast majority of cases are unvaccinated and linked to the highly contagious Delta variant. FAMU hosts free COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites on campus. Both are open to the public Monday through Saturday.
As part of its campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy, FAMU is also offering students and employees incentives to get vaccinated. Any employee or student who gets one of the three available vaccines, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer, beginning July 19 becomes eligible to be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes: $100 (Johnson & Johnson); $100 first dose of Pfizer or Moderna series; $100 second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series; $50 gift card; laptop; and iPad. The University plans to give out $1 million in prizes through the end of December, said Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer Rica Calhoun.
“We are committed to doing our part to encourage our students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated. We are showing it by offering up to $1 million in prizes,” said Calhoun, chair of the Operational Continuity Taskforce. During July, August and September, drawings will be held weekly, she said. “Their best chance to win is now.”
To participate online, students and employees can enter their information through the drawing portal. At the Al Lawson Jr. Gymnasium & Multipurpose Center vaccination site, they can register using the QR code in the FAMU Mobile App or swipe their Rattler card. The Student Health Services will conduct the drawings. The first drawing will be held next week. For more information, email email@example.com
In anticipation of a full return to campus this fall, residence halls are expected to be at full capacity. Two-bed rooms were limited to one-person last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. To make this a safe experience, the Office of University Housing is asking all students to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines as they move in. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result is required within three days of their scheduled move-in appointment. All residents will move in August 16 – 22 from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Andrew J. Skerritt