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New vaccine incentive plan aimed at Alabama college football fans

Kick COVID schedule
Kick COVID schedule(kickcovid19.com)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is seeing an increase in vaccinations, but not enough to stem the latest surge of cases.

In an effort to boost state numbers, a new incentive program was launched Thursday in hopes of using the state’s love of college football.

Alabama health leaders said when it comes to college football, few states are more passionate than Alabama. In the coming weeks, there will be free vaccinations sites set up at all of Alabama’s 13 college football campuses. If you get a shot, you get a $75 gift card.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris announced the program: Kick COVID-19. Harris said while vaccinations are improving, the state is still facing a crisis situation.

“We had about eight straight days of more than 2,800 inpatients in the state. That might be a plateau. There has not been an increase, but it hasn’t fallen off either,” Harris said.

The new program will offer free vaccinations at 13 college campuses right before home football games. Those who participate will be eligible to receive a $75 gift card.

“This is the best college football in the country. Why not use that to convince people to take that first dose?” Gene Hallman with the Bruno Event Team said.

Hallman’s Bruno Event Team will run the program, which came from the Alabama Department of Public Health. College football players from each school will also take part in a pro-vaccination campaign on their social media and other media asking people to get shots. They will be paid under the Name, Image, and Likeness clause for college athletes.

“We were very clear. Have you been vaccinated? Do you have a pro-vaccine stance? If you do, then we can talk about the business deal,” Hallman said.

The state of Alabama has not used a lot of incentive programs in the past. Dr. Harris has questioned their effectiveness, but he believed this program could lure more people to get shots.

“Appealing to people in a campus setting allows us to reach a population we are looking for and does it in a context of what is important to most people, college students, or adults in our state and is college football,” Harris said.

It all starts on September 16 at West Alabama and ends October 9 at Troy. A complete schedule can be found at KickCOVID19.com.

You can also get the gift card if you get vaccinated within 14 days before the game. You just have to go to the website and upload a picture of your vaccination card. Those details are also available at KickCOVID19.com.

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