Texas A&M University says all students who provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be entered into a drawing to win a year of tuition and fees.
The university announced the drawing Thursday afternoon for both graduate and undergraduate students who provide proof of vaccination. The drawing will be held on Oct. 15 and further details on the rules and how to provide proof will be forthcoming.
Faculty and staff with proof of vaccination will also be entered into drawings for prizes.
The university said free vaccines are available on campus for all students, faculty, and staff.
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"Considering the continued infection rates in the nation and recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the university is asking the campus community to do its part by taking important steps to keep Aggieland healthy and safe," the university said.
The school does not, and cannot, require COVID-19 vaccinations due to an order by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but said they were incentivizing vaccines and encouraging masking due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases.
"While Texas A&M does not require you to be vaccinated or to wear masks, you are strongly encouraged to do your part to keep Aggieland safe by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask while in public indoor settings, and frequently washing your hands. These actions are known to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19," the school said.
All students, staff, and faculty are required to participate in Texas A&M's mandatory COVID-19 testing program. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to submit to a COVID diagnostic test, provided by Texas A&M between Aug. 23 and Sept. 10.
The university warned that students who do not comply with mandatory reporting and testing related to the pandemic could be suspended or expelled from the university.