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Saban, Barkley, others to help encourage COVID vaccine in Alabama

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama head coach Nick Saban, basketball great Charles Barkley and other athletes will take part in a PSA to encourage people across Alabama to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The public service announcement featuring University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban debuted Tuesday. The PSA encourages vaccinations for COVID-19 so that players and fans can safely enjoy loud and full stadiums in 2021.

In addition to Coach Saban, the PSA features University of Alabama cheerleaders, the Big Al mascot, cheering fans, and scenes from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

More than 11,000 Alabama residents have died due to COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

Data from April 2021 indicate that there have been significant decreases in hospitalizations among people age 55 and older, but this trend has not been seen in those under age 55. Young people age 12 and older are now eligible to receive Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are available for people age 18 and older.

Both Saban and Barkley have recorded COVID-safety Public Service Announcements in the past including Coach Saban getting onto Big Al for not masking up.

Coach Saban recovered from COVID-19 after testing positive and missing the Iron Bowl in November 2020.

Here is the statement from ADPH about the upcoming video campaign:

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is very pleased that Coach Nick Saban and other notable sports figures, including Charles Barkley, are encouraging Alabamians to take COVID 19 vaccine. Alabamians have great respect for the opinions of these important leaders in the world of sports. ADPH appreciates this partnership, as we work together as one, to protect the health and well being of our state. All Alabamians want to return to our normal lives, which includes celebrating our state’s love of football, basketball, and other sporting events like we have in the past.

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