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NAU Launches Incentive Program To Get Students Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Under a new state law, Arizona public universities are prohibited from requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine. But Northern Arizona University is hoping to motivate students to get them by offering prizes as a part of its new Jacks are Vaxxed incentive program. 

"We’re interested in seeing all of our community vaccinated because we think that’s the best way to protect our community," said NAU Interim Provost Karen Pugliesi.

Once students are fully vaccinated, they need to send a copy of their vaccination card to the university to enter weekly drawings. Students who got vaccinated earlier this year can also enter. 

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The prizes include an Apple watch, autographed Phoenix Suns jerseys and a season pass to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. 

The program launched last week, but Interim Executive Vice President Josh Mackey said the university has already gotten a pretty good response so far. 

"We had several hundred students that had already voluntarily uploaded results," he said. 

This campaign will also give the university a better idea of what percentage of its student body is vaccinated, Mackey said. 

Rocio Hernandez is a senior field correspondent who was raised in the Las Vegas valley. She temporarily left the desert to work as the first bilingual reporter at KUER in Salt Lake City, Utah. There she covered immigration and education stories. Prior to KUER, Hernandez worked at the Associated Press’s office in Phoenix and has also interned for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reno Public Radio (KUNR) and the East Bay Times. Hernandez fell in love with audio storytelling after participating in an NPR's “Next Gen Radio” training as a student at the University of Nevada, Reno.In her spare time, Hernandez enjoys cuddling with her two poodles, sipping margaritas and spending time with her husband.