CALGARY -- Two weeks after a contest was launched encouraging University of Lethbridge students to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a similar effort has started aimed at faculty and staff.

Five winners will receive a reserved parking spot for one year as part of the It's Worth a Shot! contest, and other prizes include ONE Pass memberships to 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport & Wellness facilities (five prizes) and a faculty of fine arts ticket package (five prizes). Bookstore gift certificates will also be given out and equivalent prizes will be awarded to winners from the Calgary campus.

"The health and safety of our community has been, and continues to be, our top priority. We very much want to return to an in-person experience for our students this fall, and a high vaccination rate is key to getting there,” said U of L president and vice-chancellor Mike Mahon. “Our campuses are like small cities. We know vaccinating the population is making our province safer and if there are strong vaccination rates among members of our campus community, we can ensure it is a safer place for everyone.”

More than 2,000 students have been entered in that part of the contest so far. Students who receive a COVID-19 vaccination before 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 8 will be eligible to win full tuition and fees for the fall 2021 semester.

The winners of the student contest will be chosen on Sept. 10, along with a number of other prizes, including three $500 gift cetificates to the school bookstore, 20 Bridgebucks prizes worth $20 each and 100 U of L branded socks.

"Our faculty and staff have worked extraordinarily hard throughout this pandemic to serve our students primarily in an online setting" said Mahon.

"Everyone has shown great commitment, resilience and adaptability, but there is nothing like starting a new academic year on campus, in person, and together. Our goal is to be able to do that safely."