The University of Alabama is offering a cash incentive to encourage students returning to its campus next month to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a Monday message to students, faculty and staff, UA President Stuart Bell said getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but said the University believes all members of the campus community should protect themselves against the virus when they can.

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"I strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated as soon as possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19," Bell wrote. "We must do all we can to stay healthy, care for others and ensure that a robust Alabama experience is possible for everyone this fall."

If dramatically reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 or getting seriously ill after an infection isn't reason enough to take the vaccine, UA is now offering a cash reward to students who upload proof of their vaccination to a school website.

The new "Protect Our Herd" Initiative offers $20 in Bama Cash to any student who proves they have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before August 28.

Bama Cash is a kind of school-specific debit card that can be used to make purchases at more than 100 locations on and off the UA campus in Tuscaloosa.

Students can get their doses of the vaccine anywhere, but UA is offering shots on-site at the Student Health Center. Once someone has gotten their first dose, they can upload proof here and claim their Bama Cash reward. 


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