For-profit college ECPI University in Raleigh hoping VAX PASS system will encourage vaccinations

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As public and private universities welcome students back, there is a mix of requirements, policies and procedures when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Some are requiring vaccinations. Some are not.

But one local for-profit tech college is trying an approach that involves electronic monitoring and procedures officials hope will encourage more students to get vaccinated.

"I just show my phone. I don't have to have a mask on, you know, 100% of the time while I'm on campus," ECPI nursing student Lori Williamson said. "And also, I feel a lot better after getting the vaccine."

While Williamson feels safer after getting the vaccine, she still has to be careful since she's around others who aren't vaccinated.

Administrators at ECPI, a Virginia based for-profit tech college with a campus in Raleigh, hope their VAX PASS system may entice some unvaccinated students to get the shot.

At the campus' check-in entrance, unvaccinated students are electronically scanned, presented with a series of questions about possible COVID-19 exposure, and required to be masked.

Students who are vaccinated can simply show the Vax Pass on their phone and skip any check-in line.

And, in certain areas like the check-in entrance, they are allow to go without a mask.

"The idea is that you want to encourage people to do the best thing they can to maintain their health, their health in the health of others," said Raleigh campus president Dominick DeLorenzo. "So that is a great encouragement that they have an easier process to access the facilities and to manage your way throughout the campus."

And now, instead of hoping that students will go find the vaccine, ECPI is bringing the vaccine to students.

The college is planning two vaccination clinics in September thinking that the convenience of having shots on campus will also be an enticement.

Williamson thinks by the time the upcoming vaccination clinics roll around, many unvaccinated students will be ready to take advantage of the shortcuts she and other vaccinated students have.

"It's absolutely beneficial. Sometimes we have ten, you know in line, 15 in line, if fits you know the start of the day. And you can walk right past, show the pass and go right in," she said.
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