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Buckeye Booster Drawing winners cash in on gift cards

Incentive program runs through early April

Some lucky boosted Buckeyes received $100 gift cards this week for doing their part to enhance protections against COVID-19 among The Ohio State University community.

The first 100 winners of the Buckeye Booster Drawing were announced today (Feb. 10) after being randomly selected from more than 13,000 people who submitted entries before the first drawing. The incentive program, which will provide a total of 100 prizes per week through early April, is open to all Ohio State students, faculty and staff who have received their COVID-19 booster shots.

Dylan Page, a fourth-year political science and public policy analysis major, said he took time out of his busy schedule to get his booster shot because he knows from personal experience how health decisions can help protect others.

“My father is a colon cancer survivor, and I am very close with my grandparents and great-grandparents,” he said. “In fact, my great Nonna, who lives about an hour south of campus, turns 92 this summer! Getting the booster wasn’t just a personal decision or impact – it impacts my family and their safety [and] my friends on campus who don’t have strong immune systems or have preexisting conditions. Taking 10 minutes out of your day to do something like that is one of the most selfless and caring things Americans can do right now.”

Page said he was excited when he found out he was one of the winners of the booster drawing, but he was motivated to get the shot for other reasons.

“As a Buckeye, we always strive to put our community first and advocate for the well-being of all, and the booster program incentivizes Buckeyes to take that extra step to protect our community,” he said. “I am thankful for President Johnson’s leadership on this initiative.”

The university strongly encourages everyone who can receive a booster to do so as soon as they are eligible, because the shots have been proven to reduce the chances of serious illness. Information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, which are safe and available at no cost, is available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

The winners from this week’s drawing represent the diversity of the university community. The 50 student winners included undergraduates, graduates and professional students from at least three Ohio State campuses. The 50 faculty and staff winners were spread among at least seven colleges, seven university units and the Wexner Medical Center.

Gift card winner Vicki Wysocki, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said she received her booster shot in October and wants others in the Ohio State community to do the same. Wysocki said she was motivated by the desire to attend an in-person conference at the end of last year.

“My research group and I really enjoyed being back at an in-person conference, and none of us were infected by COVID because all of us were at least fully vaccinated and/or boosted, and masks and daily health checks were required,” she said.

The Buckeye Booster Drawing runs weekly through early April (the university will pause the drawing for spring break in March). To participate, students, faculty and staff must complete these steps:

  1. Receive the COVID-19 booster dose. Individuals are eligible five months after completing a two-dose primary vaccine series or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  2. Submit your booster information to the university if you have not already done so. Students should report through My BuckMD. Employees should report through the Employee Health Record.
  3. Enter the drawing by completing this form.

Rules and other information are available on the Buckeye Booster Drawing webpage.

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