As students prepare to return for the fall semester, the University of Georgia is strengthening its measures to protect the university community from the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus.
Of all these measures, getting vaccinated is paramount. UGA President Jere W. Morehead joined with S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost; Shelley Nuss, campus dean of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership; and Jennifer Swails, interim executive director for University Health Center, to emphasize that point.
“Without question, the vaccine offers the best defense against the pandemic, and we urge all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated, if they are able, either on campus or with a local provider,” they wrote in a memo to the university community. “Like you, we want the upcoming academic year to be as safe and normal as possible. The best way to achieve that outcome is for every member of our campus community to get vaccinated.”
Based on guidance from the University System of Georgia, UGA cannot require students, faculty or staff to be vaccinated in order to be on campus, but vaccinations are strongly encouraged.
New incentives to encourage individuals to get vaccinated are being offered. Faculty, staff and students who get vaccinated at the University Health Center or Tate Center Mobile Clinic may choose to enter a drawing to win a Visa gift card worth $100. Each Friday over the next four weeks, 10 individuals will be randomly selected to receive a $100 gift card. A total of 40 names will be drawn during the four-week period. The drawings began Aug. 13 and end Sept. 3. In addition, everyone vaccinated during this timeframe will receive a $20 gift card as well as a specially-designed UGA T-shirt.
Faculty, staff and students who are able and have not done so yet are urged to visit the University Health Center or their local provider to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are available now at the UHC, and you can click here to make an appointment. Walk-ups will be available at the UHC’s Tate Center mobile clinic from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Aug. 19, 23-26, 30-31, and Sept. 2.