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Published August 04, 2021
A senior history major from Lander is the fourth winner of a $300 prize in a weekly drawing for UW students who have reported being vaccinated for COVID-19.
Emma Comstock won the $300 in cash after her name was drawn from among students who have reported their COVID vaccinations on the Student Health Service patient portal. The $300 cash prizes as well as other prizes will go out weekly until the sixth week of the fall semester Sept. 27.
Another student, Sebastian Mooney, a sophomore pharmacy major from Gillette, won an annual “A” permit parking pass, which usually is only available to faculty and staff members -- and is valued at $210 annually.
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 receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as I was eligible in April because I have faith that our country can get through this difficult pandemic when we all work together toward a common goal,” says Comstock, who is a UW Art Museum collections assistant and a UW transfer peer mentor. “The vaccine is highly effective and safe, and I am proud that I am a part of the more than 70 percent of the American population that has received at least one dose. I urge everyone who has not yet received a vaccine to have the same conviction that science will not and has not led us astray.
“I also am looking forward to graduating with a bachelor’s degree next May or December. I want to make the most of that time by attending classes in person, meeting my professors and developing lifelong friendships, and I want to look back on my time in college and say that, even though a pandemic happened, it did not affect my studies irreparably.”
Comstock describes receiving the vaccine and reporting it through Student Health as “incredibly easy.”
“Even though I didn’t end up feeling any side effects except the muscle soreness that I expected, my professors knew that mild illness after receiving the vaccine was entirely possible, and they understand when students must miss class to get better,” she says. “The university is on our side.”
Mooney found the reporting process to be “very easy” as well.
“I would recommend vaccination and reporting so that the whole University of Wyoming community can get back to ‘normal’ life and have a fun college experience,” he says. “I decided to get vaccinated for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to protect my grandparents whenever I saw them, as well as anyone else I interacted with. Second, I wanted to be able to get back to ‘normal’ life and have a full, authentic college experience.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 2,721 individual students had reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID vaccine on the Student Health Service portal -- up from 2,590 the preceding Monday (July 26), 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.