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Published August 11, 2021
A sophomore nursing major from Colorado Springs, Colo., will get a close-up look at the pregame festivities of a University of Wyoming football game after winning the fifth in a series of weekly drawings for UW students who’ve reported being vaccinated for COVID-19.
Austin Ehler won the pregame field access pass after his name was drawn from among students who’ve reported their COVID vaccinations on the Student Health Service patient portal. Another student, Partha Saha, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, won the weekly $300 cash prize.
The $300 cash prize as well as other prizes will go out weekly until the sixth week of the fall semester Sept. 27. Two winners of the grand prize, covering up to $4,500 in tuition and fees, will be drawn for the fall semester -- one the week of Aug. 23, the other the week of Sept. 27.
“I decided to be vaccinated not only to protect myself and the countless patients I will tend to as a future nurse, but also to protect my closest friends, family members and community as a whole,” Ehler says. “The reporting process was incredibly efficient and simple. In order to protect yourself, loved ones, friends, community and eventually the country as a whole, I encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine. After you are fully immunized, I recommend reporting your vaccine to the University of Wyoming. With just one picture and a little bit of luck, you are entered to win a host of prizes from the University of Wyoming.”
“I think of vaccination as a commitment to my family, friends and, above all, to my community,” says Saha, an international student from Bangladesh. “To make the UW campus a safe place for each student and the entire community, I would request everyone to get vaccinated.”
While vaccinations are not required for UW students and employees -- instead, they’re strongly encouraged -- students should report their vaccinations once they’ve received them. This allows the university to track overall vaccination numbers. The information is not being used for any other purpose, except to enter those who’ve reported their vaccinations into the drawings for prizes. The university’s privacy protocols are being followed.
To upload documentation to the Student Health Service patient portal, take a photo of your vaccination document and upload the picture here: http://patientportal.uwyo.edu, using your regular UW user ID and password. This is the same portal where students report their mandatory vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella.
Additionally, students can report their vaccinations by emailing photos of their vaccination documents to Student Health at email@example.com.
Only those students who submit their COVID-19 vaccination information to Student Health are eligible for the prize drawings. Students who submit proof of their first shots will be eligible for the weekly drawings; to win the tuition and fee prizes, students must have submitted proof of complete vaccination (for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, two doses). Students should watch their UW email accounts on Mondays, as that is when they’ll be notified if they’re prize winners.
Names are drawn weekly from the total pool of students who’ve reported at least one shot. As of Monday, when this week’s drawing took place, 2,876 individual students had reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID vaccine on the Student Health Service portal -- up from 2,721 the preceding Monday (Aug. 2) and more than a 1,000-student increase from the 1,665 reporting before the incentive program was announced July 9.
For the winners of the grand-prize drawings the week of Aug. 23 and Sept. 27 for the semester of tuition and fees, the $4,500 award would be reduced by any scholarship amount a student is awarded. The prize is meant to cover only costs the student or family is obligated to pay out of pocket.
The weekly drawing is for a winner who receives $300 in cash, along with one more winner for another prize. Those prizes include pregame field access passes for UW football games; Dining Dollars cards from UW Dining Services, each valued at $100; and Apple AirPods.
Additionally, five students will each win the prize of a dinner for six with President Ed Seidel and his partner, Gabrielle Allen, at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. Also included will be catered dinners with Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman, along with Associated Students of UW President Hunter Swilling.
Students in the United States can go to https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ and learn where COVID-19 vaccines are available. They can even narrow the search to look for a particular type (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) in up to a 50-mile radius of the zip code they enter.
Students who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons may participate in the drawings by completing a vaccination exemption form found on the Student Health Service website.
For more details on the student vaccination reporting incentive program, go to www.uwyo.edu/alerts/campus-return/vaccination/index.html.