Nick Saban wants you to get your COVID-19 vaccine.
The state of Alabama's most recognizable person recently filmed a public service announcement encouraging people to get the vaccine. Alabama's vaccination rate is one of the lowest in the country as just over a quarter of the state's population is fully vaccinated.
Saban's plea in the PSA is simple. And it should be effective. Get vaccinated so you can attend a college football game in a full stadium in 2021.
Alabama and Auburn are both planning to have stadiums at full capacity in 2021. Those plans are easier to implement with as many people vaccinated as possible. After all, a stadium full of mostly vaccinated people means a lower risk of contracting COVID-19.
Auburn athletic director Allen Greene told Al.com on Monday that his school's plans for a full Jordan-Hare Stadium hinged on vaccination rates increasing in the state.
“This is probably a great time to give a plug to say we need to vaccinate,” Greene said. “We don’t make the decision in our department, nor do our peers; the decisions are made with our health officials, so the better that our communities do with regard to our COVID vaccinations, the more opportunity we have to have everyone together again.”
The state of Alabama said Monday that it had administered nearly 2.7 million vaccine doses and just under 1.3 million of the state's residents were fully vaccinated. According to Our World in Data, that means just 26% of the state's residents have been fully vaccinated. Only Mississippi has a lower vaccination rate.
Alabama and Auburn aren't the only people in the state using the carrot of sports to encourage Alabamians to get vaccinated. Talladega Superspeedway is holding a free vaccine clinic on Saturday and anyone who gets their shot at the track will have the chance to drive two laps around the high-banked oval afterward.
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