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Purdue plans vaccine cash drawing as IU faces policy critics

May 28, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — While Indiana University faces political backlash over its plans to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for all students and employees, Purdue University is offering a chance at winning a full year’s tuition for students who get the shots.

Purdue’s “Old Golden Ticket” drawing makes students who submit proof of a COVID-19 vaccination by July 15 eligible for one of 10 prizes paying $9,992. That is the equivalent of a year’s undergraduate tuition.

Purdue has avoided criticism of it plans to require students and employees to either provide proof of vaccination for the fall semester or participate in frequent COVID-19 testing.

IU said Thursday it “ will further consider our process for verifying the requirement” a day after the state attorney general issued a non-binding opinion that the policy was illegal under a new state law banning the state or local governments from issuing or requiring vaccine passports.

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Many Republican legislators have also come out against IU’s plan, with a letter signed by 35 GOP state senators calling it a “heavy-handed mandate.”

IU officials have defended the vaccine requirement as a way to safely resume full in-person classes and events on all its campuses across the state.