NFL ALUMNI ENCOURAGE COVID-19 VACCINATION IN THE DAKOTAS
Former NFL Players Promote Vaccine Confidence Through Awareness & Education Campaign; Will Host Vaccination Clinic at FARGODOME before Nov. 20 kickoff of North Dakota State vs. Univ. of South Dakota
FARGO, ND (November 16, 2021) – A campaign from NFL Alumni Health, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aims to build COVID-19 vaccination confidence in areas around the country – including in North Dakota and South Dakota. Five-time Pro Bowler, three-time World Champion, and NFL Alumni President Bart Oates, and former World Champions and NFL Alumni Lead Ambassadors Billy Davis and Kyle Richardson are among the more than 50 players lending their voices to the education and awareness campaign. The effort encourages people to get informed, discuss their vaccine questions with their health care providers, and make the decision to get vaccinated. The initiative includes public service announcements, a campaign website, social media posts and local events held in collaboration with health care providers and public health organizations.
To encourage vaccination, NFL Alumni will team up with Sanford Health, North Dakota Department of Health, and South Dakota Department of Health to host a mobile vaccination clinic before kickoff of the Harvest Bowl game between North Dakota State and the University of South Dakota. The event will provide an opportunity for eligible participants to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Flu shots will also be available for those six months and older. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, November 20 in the Main Lobby of the FARGODOME on the campus of North Dakota State (1800 No. University Dr.).
“I can’t wait to see and meet the fans in Fargo,” said Oates. “Like in the game of football, getting in the win column is going to take every individual doing their part. That’s why it is important for people to talk to their doctor or trusted health care professional about the COVID-19 vaccine, get their questions answered and make the informed decision to get vaccinated.”
Oates, Davis, Richardson, and other NFL alumni will be on-hand to meet and greet participants and sign autographs. Attendees may also enter an NFL Alumni-sponsored raffle to win a player-signed NFL Alumni football.
“The more people we can get vaccinated, the sooner we can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror,” said Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, chief physician at Sanford Health. “The vaccine has done a tremendous job at preventing hospitalizations and serious side-effects from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine is the best tool we have against this virus.”
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 highly contagious Delta variant, millions of Americans have not yet opted to get vaccinated. Only 54% of North Dakota’s and about 59% of South Dakota’s populations 12 years and older have been fully vaccinated. Per the CDC, the Delta variant is responsible for nearly all new cases in both states.
“Nearly 60% of North Dakotans over the age of 18 have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This event provides fans the opportunity to learn more about vaccination and get the initial or second dose of the vaccine or a booster,” said Nizar Wehbi, State Health Officer, North Dakota Department of Health. “The vaccine is an important tool in our fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, and we are glad to partner with NFL Alumni at this event to provide education and ensure that citizens have access to information to make informed decisions about what is best for their health.”
“We are proud of being part of this team effort to inform people how to best protect themselves from COVID-19 using all available tools— including getting vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health, South Dakota Department of Health.
Nationally, more than 50 current and former NFL players are participating in the vaccination awareness effort, including 20 world champions, 27 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, Atlanta, 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.
About NFL Alumni and NFL Alumni Health
Founded in 1967 by a small group of successful retired NFL players, NFL Alumni is one of the oldest and most well-respected retired player organizations in professional sports. NFL Alumni’s mission is to inform, assist, and serve players in their post-NFL lives. NFL Alumni Health is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NFL Alumni, which is devoted to improving the health and wellness of NFL Alumni members as well as the general public, by providing informational resources, programs and services. Visit www.nflalumnihealth.org.