ATLANTA NFL ALUMNI ENCOURAGE COVID-19 VACCINATION TO FIGHT COVID SURGE
Falcon Josh Harris, Former Falcon Warrick Dunn and Other Former NFL Players Promote Vaccine Confidence Through Awareness & Education Campaign; Will Host Mobile Vaccination Clinic on August 30
A new campaign from NFL Alumni Health, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aims to build COVID-19 vaccination confidence in cities around the country – including Atlanta. Current Atlanta Falcons long snapper Josh Harris and former Falcon Warrick Dunn are among the more than 50 players lending their voices to the education and awareness campaign, which encourages people to get informed, address their vaccine questions with their healthcare providers and make the decision to get vaccinated. The initiative will include public service announcements, a campaign website, social media posts and local events in collaboration with healthcare providers and public health organizations.
“The NFL Alumni mission is caring for our own, caring for kids and caring for our community – for us, that means helping Atlanta and the state of Georgia ‘rise up’ to end the pandemic,” said Dexter Davis, who serves as vice president of the NFL Alumni Georgia Chapter and has organized the event. “We hope that by speaking out, we might inspire people who may have concerns about vaccination, to talk to their doctor and make an informed decision to protect themselves, their families and our community.”
Millions of people in the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines, which has undoubtedly saved many lives across the country. But, despite widespread availability of vaccines and the emergence of the new, highly contagious Delta variant, millions of Americans have not yet opted to get vaccinated. Just over 50% of Georgia’s vaccine-eligible population has been vaccinated. The state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases – per the CDC, the Delta variant is responsible for nearly 75% of those new cases.
“We have to work as a team, listen to the science and get our shots for the benefit of all,” said Warrick Dunn, former NFL running back and part owner of the Atlanta Falcons. “This campaign is a natural extension of my life on and off the field, where I learned to work together to create bigger impact. I hope every person who reads this will heed our call and get the vaccine.”
To encourage vaccination, local NFL Alumni will team up with the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) Fulton County to offer vaccination in conjunction with the event hosted by the NFL Alumni Georgia Chapter, Atlanta Falcons’ Josh Harris and the Atlanta Urban Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Leaders from CDC also plan to join the event. The vaccination event takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, August 30 at Center Parc Stadium at Georgia State University, and will feature cornhole games, music, autographs with athletes, lunch from Chick Fil-A, health information and free doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Harris, Dunn, Davis, and other NFL alumni, including Mike Pitts, Andrew Provence, and Josh Vaughan, will be on-hand to meet and greet participants. The event is the first in an anticipated series of coordinated efforts by NFL Alumni and local health organizations to educate and vaccinate area residents.
“I grew up in Carrollton, Georgia and now have the privilege of playing for the Falcons,” said Josh Harris. “Georgia is my home, Atlanta is my community and my neighbors are my extended family. For me, getting vaccinated means so much more than simply protecting myself; it’s about keeping those around me safe. I just want to encourage anyone who is still reluctant to get vaccinated to talk to your doctor, address your questions and make a decision.”
Nationally, more than 50 current and former NFL players have agreed to participate in the vaccination awareness effort, including 20 world champions, 26 Pro Bowlers and 16 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
NFL Alumni Health is a wholly-owned subsidiary launched by NFL Alumni, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, to improve the health and wellness of NFL Alumni members and the broader public.
Other NFL Alumni Chapter cities and regions participating in the program include Arizona, Baltimore, the Carolinas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, the Gulf Coast, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New York/New Jersey, Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Philadelphia, Richmond, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
For more information about the campaign and resources, go to www.nflalumnihealth.org/covid-19.