On Thursday, the University of New Mexico announced a reward-based incentive program to encourage students and employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in order to “Vax the Pack.” After uploading proof of vaccination, students will receive $100 via bursar's account, and main and branch campus employees will be entered into a drawing for one of 50 $1,000 prizes.

This money is available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Students must be registered for the upcoming fall semester to qualify.

“We want all Lobos feeling as safe and supported as we possibly can,” President Garnett Stokes wrote in a campus communications email on Thursday. “The continued health and safety of our community is paramount and depends on all of us to do our part.”

If you have already gotten the vaccine but have not yet uploaded proof of vaccination, you are still eligible for the rewards once proof is uploaded. Applicants vaccinated in New Mexico can access qualifying records through the state’s immunizations portal.

While there is no current end date for the program, it may end at any time. In addition, if any group of people are required to get vaccinated in the future, they will then not be eligible for the prizes.

This incentive program follows UNM’s decision on July 8 to forgo a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students and employees returning to campus. Alongside this announcement, the University set forth a goal of a 100% vaccination rate.

“Let’s make the fall 2021 semester one to celebrate,” Stokes said in the campus communications email. “Get vaccinated.”

Vaccinations are free and can be scheduled online at a vaccination site near you.

Matthew Salcido is the sports editor of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy