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Alabama Public Health Department partners with state university football programs promoting COVID-19 vaccination

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Thursday announced that is has launched its “KICK COVID” campaign, which will promote vaccinations and education regarding vaccine efficacy.

The statewide campaign will offer COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in prominent locations at select home games for each football program this fall. Each school will have its own unique promotional campaign aimed at encouraging students and fans alike to become inoculated against the deadly virus.

Student-athletes will play a significant role in the campaign’s messaging and promotion. ADPH has partnered with sports event management firm Bruno Event Team for the initiative. The firm is working with players from all 13 state schools that play Division I college football.

According to Opelika-Auburn News, notable players that have signed onto the campaign under college football’s new name, image and likeness (NIL) rules are the Crimson Tide’s Will Anderson, John Metchie III, Will Reichard and Slade Bolden, as well as Auburn’s Bo Nix, Owen Pappoe and Anders Carlson.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris praised the partnership and is optimistic that it will lead to an increase in vaccinations.

“With the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant circulating, and cases, hospitalizations and deaths increasing, we continue urging all eligible people to be vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Harris. “These new and popular venues will provide additional opportunities for people to learn more about the virus, the vaccine, and receive testing and vaccine on-site.”

Bruno Event Team CEO Gene Hallman said the campaign will appeal to the state’s love of college football to promote vaccination.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to utilize the power of college football as a platform for promoting the need to get vaccinated,” said Hallman. “The 2020 season was lacking the passion that comes from large crowds cheering for their favorite team. We need to do everything possible to ensure players and fans can safely return to stadiums to experience college football as we know and love it.”

For more information regarding gameday vaccine and testing schedules, visit kickcovid19.com.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL