N.C. health officials to promote COVID-19 vaccinations at International soccer match in Charlotte

Mexico and Ecuador will take to the pitch on Oct. 27, at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte
North Carolina health officials are using an International soccer match in Charlotte to reach out to the Hispanic and LatinX communities about vaccines
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina health officials are using an International soccer match in Charlotte to reach out to the Hispanic and LatinX communities about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Mexico and Ecuador will take to the pitch on Oct. 27, at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte.

In an effort to promote COVID-19 vaccination among the Hispanic and Latinx community, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with multiple organizations to inform soccer fans on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.

As part of this engagement effort, information about COVID-19 vaccines will be shared throughout game day.

This includes:

  • Fans will get to meet with former Mexico World Cup defender and team captain, Claudio Suarez. Known as ‘El Emperador,’ Suarez is one of the world leaders in international appearances — representing the MNT on 178 occasions, including 1994, 1998 and 2006 World Cups;
  • A pre-game tailgate party hosted by the North Carolina chapter of Pancho Villa’s Army, the largest supporter group for the Mexican National Team;
  • A mobile, on-site COVID-19 vaccine unit at AT&T Fútbol Fiesta;
  • Informational tables with representation from Healthier Together and other local Hispanic/Latinx community-based organizations;
  • Fan giveaways; and
  • In-game educational opportunities such as vaccine videos and digital graphics integrated into fans’ gameday experience.

“We’ve made great progress in getting vaccines to Hispanic and Latinx communities across North Carolina, but we still have more work to do to ensure everyone is protected from the serious illness and complications that can result from COVID-19 infection,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “As a big soccer fan, I am particularly excited about this partnership where we can work together to share accurate information about the vaccines and keep people healthy.”

The mobile vaccine unit will be set up with tents inside AT&T Fútbol Fiesta at Romare Bearden Park, and vaccines will be available from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech (COMINARTY) and Johnson & Johnson brand vaccines will all be available, as well as booster shots for eligible North Carolinians.

Bilingual medical professionals and staff will be on-site to answer any questions fans and community members may have about the vaccines.

In North Carolina, vaccination rates among the Hispanic/Latinx population have increased substantially over the course of vaccine distribution. Currently, the Hispanic/Latinx population eligible for vaccination has higher vaccination rates compared to non-Hispanic residents for all age groups except the 75+ age group. While vaccination rates among this population are moving in the right direction, NCDHHS recognizes some people may need additional information to make the decision to get vaccinated.

The department will continue to promote vaccinations to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death and to help all individuals safely return to the people and places they love, especially with the holiday season approaching.

The friendly soccer match between the Mexico and Ecuador men’s national teams begins at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The tailgate party will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at parking lot 3 located at the intersection of W Morehead and S Mint streets.

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