Broward College’s Vaccine Incentive Program Aims to Encourage Vaccination
Jessica Kladerman – Editor-in-Chief
At Broward College (BC) as a part of the efforts made to monitor and put the lid on COVID-19 positive cases, research was conducted showing many states and higher education institutions have created vaccine incentive programs.
According to Tashika President, District Director of Emergency Management, “the on-site COVID testing, and vaccine site will run through Oct. 20, and students will have until Oct. 23 to submit their vaccine information to qualify for the vaccine incentive.”
President said so far 560 students have been approved for the $250 vaccine incentive.
The idea of an incentive program aims to “increase education about the vaccination benefits and encourage vaccination, and so the Vaccine Incentive Program (VIP) was conceived.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) passed by Congress in March 2021 provided the funding to make the program a reality,” said Vice President of Finance, Caleb Cornelius.
In addition to the ARP, an emergency fund called the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was started by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, better known as the CARES Act, was passed by Congress in March of 2020.
The HEERF has two main functions; provide higher education students with emergency financial aid grants that will help deal with the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives and provide colleges and universities funding to continue operating remotely in an efficient way.
“Broward College recognizes that during this time students have a degree of need related to tuition, fees, housing, meals, transportation, technologies, books, childcare, and healthcare, so we created the Student Emergency Aid (SEAhawk) Aid Grant program to help with those unexpected costs, from HEERF dollars.
In addition to the SEAhawk Grant program, BC is issuing grants from HEERF emergency funding to all students for the fall semester to overcome adversity due to the impact of COVID-19.
In total students can receive up to $2,000 depending on their financial need,” said Cornelius.
Through the VIP students and employees will receive an incentive of $250 once completing a brief questionnaire. The first question asking, “Did this Vaccine Incentive Program encourage you to think more about the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccination?” The first question aims more for research purposes and does not determine eligibility.
The next question asks, “Did you receive your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccination between Aug. 16, 2021, and Oct. 23, 2021?” If you answer yes to this question, you must provide proof and the date of your final dose by uploading a photo of your vaccination card. Eligibility is not based on whether you got your vaccination at BC so any vaccination site you received it from will count towards your incentive.
“Urgent Med has been a partner of BC for 14 years as a flu shot provider and has now partnered [with BC] to provide on-site COVID testing and vaccinations for our community,” said President.
At this time, there are no incentives for students and staff that were fully vaccinated before Aug. 16, or for any students seeking boosters, however, there will be an evaluation at the end of the course of the program to determine if it will be needed again next semester.
To find out more information about the VIP, please visit https://www.broward.edu/coronavirus/#vaccine-incentive. For more information on the Emergency Financial Aid, please visit https://students.broward.edu/resources/emergency-aid/.