College football fans in Alabama heading to their favorite team’s game can now do their part to fight the pandemic at the same time.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is starting a new vaccination campaign this fall and it involves every college team in the state.
It’s called the Kick COVID-19 Initiative and it’s the first of its kind in American college sports this pandemic, according to co-organizer Gene Hallman of Bruno Event Group.
All 13 college football programs in the state plan to dedicate the pregame of one game to give a Pfizer or Moderna shot as well as give each person who takes part a $75 gift card to their home team’s official store.
But you can still get the gift card even if you already got your shot as long as it’s within 14 days of the gameday clinic and you upload the proof online.
“Appealing to people in a campus setting allows us to reach a population, in particular, we’re looking for,” said Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. “And it does it in the context of something that’s really important to most people who are college students or even adults in our state, and that’s college football. I think this is something that might not work in every state in the union. But in the South, particularly in Alabama where college football is such an important part of everyone’s lives, we have a really good opportunity to make this a very successful program.”
To make sure of that, several players from each of the 13 Alabama teams will also appear in videos and public service ads urging fans to get their shot and make sure no player or team misses another game because of COVID clusters.
Hallman said players will be paid for the appearances, as per the NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness laws.
“But in this case we were very clear in the outset (talking to the participating players) asking, ‘Are you vaccinated, do you have a pro-vaccine stance?’ So all the athletes that we have are very sincere, very authentic in their beliefs,” Hallman said.
Participating schools and dates subject to change
- University of West Alabama vs. North American University, September 16
- Jacksonville State University vs. University of North Alabama, September 18
- University of South Alabama vs. Alcorn State University, September 18
- Alabama State University vs. Bethune-Cookman University, September 25
- Auburn University vs. Georgia State University, September 25
- Miles College vs. Central State University, September 25
- Samford University vs. East Tennessee State University, September 25
- University of Alabama vs. University of Southern Mississippi, September 25
- Tuskegee University vs. Edward Waters College, October 2
- UAB vs. Liberty University, October 2
- University of North Alabama vs. Campbell University, October 2
- Alabama A&M University vs. Jackson State University, October 9
- Troy University vs. Liberty University, October 9
For more information regarding the program, visit kickcovid19.com