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Former Saints player Deuce McAllister encourages everyone to get vaccinated

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Deuce McAllister scored 41 touchdowns while at Ole Miss and 55 touchdowns during his eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints, but now the Mississippi native is using his voice to raise awareness about getting COVID-19 vaccines.

“It still isn’t over,” McAllister said to those in attendance at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Biloxi. “We obviously still see and feel the effects of the pandemic but just to let them know that’s it’s still important to get vaccinated.”

Deuce is in line with Magnolia Health, Centene and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to get the word out and serve up the realities about getting those shots so we can all run over COVID once and for all.

“Just to be able to ease some fears as far as some of the questions that may be individuals have, and I think one of the best things to do is educate people,” McAllister added. “I can understand the fear and I can understand the questions, and maybe a lack of information for some individuals.”

Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country at 31 percent. Many of those communities are people of color.

“You always have the early adopters and we went through that and did very well at the beginning but now we’re seeing the vaccination rates drop off,” said Dr. Jeremy Erwin, Magnolia Health chief medical director.

Biloxi City Councilman Felix Gines knows firsthand what happens when COVID-19 not only hits your community, but also your family. He and many of his close relatives all dealt with the virus.

“We went through that ordeal for about 2-3 months, and even my 89-year-old mother had it, and it took her a while to recover,” Gines said. “It’s very important to get that vaccine so we can hurry up and get our city back, our communities back and our state back.”

Deuce’s visit is part of a national COVID-19 vaccine Public Service Announcement campaign with a particular focus on communities of color.

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