The Student Health Advisory Council at Western Michigan University is encouraging students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before the fall semester begins.
SHAC and WMU's Sindecuse Health Center have been raising awareness for student vaccinations while also educating students about the vaccine. Council Vice-President Erin Stadler says it works to dispel misinformation students see.
"Our biggest thing for SHAC is looking at what would motivate students to get vaccinated, and then in turn, what would be anything that holds them back. And we found that the biggest thing holding them back is social media misinformation like shared viral posts on Tik Tok or Facebook.”
Stadler says the effort includes providing information, access to the vaccine, and giving students incentives to get the shots.
“We’ve really been discussing ways to ramp up just awareness about the vaccine and proper education of students. But we are also looking forward to the fall welcome time and how we can really ensure that students have both access to vaccination sites that work with their schedules and proper information.”
Stadler says SHAC is reminding students that the vaccine will help get campus life back to the way it used to be.
“What do students in college want to do? They want to go to a bar. They want to go to a concert. They want to do these things that, if you’re vaccinated, it’s more possible to do so. So, we’ve just looked at different ad campaigns we can run on campus that really emphasis that: 'Do you want to do these things? Here’s what we need to do collectively.'”
Western’s vaccination incentive program is also offering students a chance to win scholarships of up to $10,000. Drawings for those scholarships will begin August 6th and run through early December 2021.