MSU offering vaccination incentives to students

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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WET PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - It’s pretty quiet on the MSU-West Plains campus this time of year. But when things gear up again this fall, university officials want as many students as possible to receive vaccinations.

They didn’t have to twist Andrea Atchison’s arm. She has asthma and had COVID-19 in the fall of 2020. She says she definitely doesn’t want it again.

“I think my fever got up to 104, she said. “I was coughing, I had shortness of breath, it was hard for me to even get out of bed, I had super bad headaches with it and I even had some nausea.”

She also lost her sense of taste and smell, and has residual effects.

“I had a Bath and Bodyworks perfume and I loved it before I got sick with COVID,” said Atchison. “When I started regaining my sense of taste and smell, I hated it. Like, I can’t stand it now.”

But 22-year old Taylor Rothswich says there’s no amount of money that would convince her to get vaccinated right now.

“I’m not against vaccinations, said Rothswich. “I get the flu shot every year, but for me, they just came out with this; I mean, it took them less than a year to create the vaccination, it’s not FDA approved, and we don’t know the long-term effects of the vaccination.”

Rothswich said she thinks it’s wrong for MSU to offer vaccine incentives to students.

“It’s like, “Hey, if you put a vaccine in your body, we’ll give you free tuition, free money,”, she said. “I just don’t think that’s right.”

Atchison likes the incentive program and wishes everyone would get vaccinated with or without incentives.

“I don’t want to still be five years down the road and be still sitting here worrying about walking out of the house and if I’m going to get a deadly disease that’s going to kill me or my brother who has asthma,” said Atchison.

“I’m not saying I won’t ever get the vaccine, but once it’s FDA approved and we know there are studies showing the long-term effects, that’s something different,” said Rothswich.

For students who do want to participate in the vaccination incentive program, the deadline is August 26 for the first round and September 27 for the grand prizes. For details, and to register, visit

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