“WUVAX” is a vaccine incentive program at Washburn University with the purpose of increasing student vaccination numbers and student education on the vaccine. Initiated by the Steering Committee, Washburn’s COVID response committee featuring Dr. Farley, the president of Washburn University, and several Vice Presidents from across departments, this incentive features prize giveaways in several categories. Dr. Eric Grospitch, vice president of student life, is spearheading WUVAX due to his part in the Steering Committee.
Grospitch shared that there are two main approaches to the WUVAX program.The first part is education in which an educational video with facts presented by Washburn’s director of Student Health Services Dr. Tiffany McManis, can be viewed and upon completion participants are entered into a prize drawing. Then there’s action in which a self-report of vaccination form for students, faculty and staff needs to be submitted to the student health services. Completion of either the video, self-report or both forms registers the individual into a prize drawing.
In addition to the entry of individuals for completion of video or form entry, there is a place in the form to indicate which student organizations you are a part of. By indicating your affiliation with an organization, you may be able to help that organization get up to 70% of members vaccinated, which will then enter the group into a drawing against other student organizations.
The prize drawings for the video completion are in three separate groups: one for students, one for faculty and another for staff. All of Washburn’s students, faculty and staff members are eligible to enter into the drawing for the video completion. Those who fill out the form must then send in proof of vaccination to Student Health Services. Similarly, there are separate drawings for residential halls, student organizations, sororities and fraternities and athletics groups.
But what about individuals who cannot get the vaccine for health or religious reasons? For these students who still wish to self-report and enter the drawing, they must send an explanation as to why they are unable to get the vaccine.
It should be known that no one other than Student Health Services will be able to view their vaccination record as it is their personal medical history, if they choose to self-report. The only thing Grospitch will do once a winner has been drawn is confirm with Student Health that the person submitted proof of vaccination or an explanation to Student Health Services.
So far, McManis and Grospitch have agreed that they’ve seen a high rate of student involvement in WUVAX. Grospitch shared his perspective of how he’s seen students act with compassion and how they have maintained a strong sense of community.
“Even with all of this,we want to be together. We want to be engaged, we want to have events, we want to kind of do some of the normal stuff. It kind of makes me proud,” said Grospitch.
For anyone affiliated with Washburn who wishes to get vaccinated but has not yet done so, Dr. McManis encourages them to schedule an appointment by contacting Student Health at (785)-670-1470 or over email at [email protected]
“It is free of charge for students, faculty and staff… we’re doing vaccines every Wednesday and some Fridays,” said Dr. McManis.
Be sure to check out the WUVAX page of the Washburn website for your chance to win prizes, and if you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, the CDC website has several resources. Student Health Services is always happy to help.
Edited by Alyssa Storm, Simran Shrestha