Warrick Dunn, NFL Alumni promoting COVID-19 vaccination

Falcons part-owner and former running back Warrick Dunn is working with NFL Alumni and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote the COVID-19 vaccination and confidence in the vaccine.

Dunn teamed with the local NFL Alumni Georgia Chapter and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) Fulton County to offer the vaccination at Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium on Monday. Additional coordinated efforts by NFL Alumni and local health organizations will appear in 20 other cities in the near future with the hopes of getting more people vaccinated.

“We really want to promote the vaccine and have people learn more about it,” Dunn told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Have them talk to doctors, make an informed decision and get the vaccine. It’s not about them, it’s about the community.”

Dunn is among the more than 50 former players lending their voices to the education in this awareness campaign, which encourages people to get informed, address their vaccine questions with their health-care providers and make the decision to get vaccinated.

“It’s like in team sports, if one person doesn’t do their job, things can go wrong for everybody,” Dunn said. “Getting the vaccine has to be selfless action.”

Millions of people in the U.S. have received COVID-19 vaccines, but despite widespread availability of vaccines and the emergence of the new, highly contagious Delta variant, millions of Americans have not yet opted to get vaccinated.

Slightly over 50% of Georgia’s vaccine-eligible population has been vaccinated. The state is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases – per the CDC, the Delta variant is responsible for nearly 75% of those new cases.

“The NFL Alumni mission is caring for our own, caring for kids and caring for our community – for us, that means helping Atlanta and the state of Georgia ‘rise up’ to end the pandemic,” said Dexter Davis, who serves as vice president of the NFL Alumni Georgia Chapter and has organized the Atlanta event. “We hope that by speaking out, we might inspire people who may have concerns about vaccination, to talk to their doctor and make an informed decision to protect themselves, their families and our community.”

Dunn, Falcons long-snapper Josh Harris, and NFL alumni, including Mike Pitts, Andrew Provence, and Josh Vaughan, were on-hand to meet and greet participants at the Atlanta event.

“I grew up in Carrollton, Georgia and now have the privilege of playing for the Falcons,” Harris said. “Georgia is my home, Atlanta is my community and my neighbors are my extended family. For me, getting vaccinated means so much more than simply protecting myself; it’s about keeping those around me safe. I just want to encourage anyone who is still reluctant to get vaccinated to talk to your doctor, address your questions and make a decision.”

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