Alabama state health officials have enlisted colleges to hold COVID-19 vaccination campaigns ahead of football games this fall. Participating fans will be eligible for $75 voucher incentives on game days.
The state program will have thirteen colleges participating, including the University of Alabama and Auburn University, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Bruno Event Team CEO Gene Hallman announced on Thursday at a news conference announcing the initiative.
Each university will host an on-site vaccination clinic per home game this season. The program will also open an online portal for people to upload proof of vaccination up to 14 days before the game. Candidates will receive a $75 voucher redeemable at the college book store as appreciation for helping keep communities safe, said Hallman.
The Reaction From Alabama State Officials
State officials earlier had expressed hesitation about widespread incentive campaigns but Harris said this program is perfectly suited for Alabama and its strong football culture.
Harris said that using Football as a means to engage Alabama’s citizens in Covid-19 vaccination campaigns. Since football unites college students and adults it was perfect.
To enlist, people can either get their first COVID-19 dose within a 14-day period before their chosen game day or provide proof on the website. People can also choose to get vaccinated on game day at sites that will open three hours prior to kick-off.
Since the top two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require a two-dose regimen, Hallman said some colleges have arranged for a follow-up clinic to be on campus for the second dose.
Harris said the program aims to standardize vaccinations as health officials try to get people to change their careless attitude towards Covid-19 regulations, given the ongoing COVID-19 wave engulfing the state of Alabama.
Officials have also recruited some of the players at each school to promote the program, Hallman said.