University of Georgia offering $1,000 incentives to get students, employees vaccinated

Starting Sept. 1, the University of Georgia will offer $1,000 cash prizes to get shots into arms.

It's one of several incentives they have in an effort to get everyone fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

University leaders said they've provided 25,000 vaccinations through their health department, and say many more of their community members have gotten shots through community providers.

RELATED: Douglas County offering hazard pay, vaccine incentives to employees

"I'm still doing a bit more research," unvaccinated freshman Caroline Crawley explained.

She told FOX 5 News why she hasn't gotten the shots yet. 

"I just have allergies and that put me in the hospital one time so I'm kind of hesitant to get the vaccine just because I don't know what that's going to do to me," she told us. 

But the freshman isn't alone.

We spoke with a few students Tuesday who are not vaccinated.

Some said they some don't agree with it, others are still researching its safety and effectiveness.

"For me, it's kind of just going at my own pace and making sure I’m not going to have any negative side effects from that," Crawley detailed. 

Beginning Wednesday, UGA leaders hope the chance at getting $1,000 will be enough to sway students to roll up their sleeve.

Fully vaccinated faulty, staff and students will be able to enter their names into a drawing for a chance to win the cash prize.

Unvaccinated students we spoke with had different reactions. 

Some said the chance to win $1,000 is worth rolling up their sleeves.

However, others said they're not changing their minds.

"I, myself, can't understand why you wouldn't get one but at the same time I understand that it's tough to make a decision like that, but I think the incentives are a good idea and forces people to consider why they're not getting one," freshman Julia Whilden said. 

This incentive is open to anyone vaccinated through the university or another provider.

"The university has the money to and this is a great way to use that money they have," graduate student Jacob Kremer explained. 

UGA already offers two other vaccine incentives.

President Dr. Jere Morehead said vaccinations provide their community’s best protection against COVID-19.

"I would say a little bit worried because this campus is so crowded and it's almost 40,000 students so it's very populated," Crawley mentioned. 

The university doesn't have a mask or vaccine mandate saying the Board of Regents does not allow its institutions to do so.

Crawley said once she's done with her research, she'll likely get vaccinated if she's comfortable.

However, she did admit the incentives won’t impact her decision either way.

"For me, public safety is really like a number one thing so that enough is an incentive." 

There are only 100 of those cash prizes up for grabs.

Other universities like Kennesaw State University are also offering similar incentives with a goal of getting as many people vaccinated as possible. 

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