Indiana University offers prizes for vaccine documentation

INDIANA – Indiana University is offering more than $70,000 from prize drawings for students and employees who provide proof that they’ve received COVID-19 vaccinations.

The award program announced Thursday comes after the university stepped back this week from a plan to require shot documentation ahead of the fall semester amid protests from many state officials. Many Republican legislators protested IU’s original vaccination requirement plan, with a letter signed by 35 GOP state senators calling it a “heavy-handed mandate.”

IU, instead, will still require COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees but let them attest to having received the shots without providing documentation.

IU’s incentive program will have at least two student winners and one employee winner selected for three weeks beginning June 10 at each of its campuses across the state. Those winners will get up to $500 in their choice of gift cards or other prizes. A grand prize announced July 2 will have a student winning one year of in-state tuition credit for their campus and an employee winner choosing between a pair of season tickets for either the Indianapolis Colts or Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Purdue University plans a similar drawing, with vaccinated students eligible for 10 prizes of a full year of in-state undergraduate tuition.