NFL teams join Hochul to promote more vaccinations

Photos courtesy of the Governor’s Office

Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Health Department are partnering with New York’s professional football teams to raise the state’s vaccination rates.

The New York Giants, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills are involved in the state’s #VaxandWin football sweepstakes for those who get vaccinated between September 9 and October 24. There will be five drawings. Prizes include game tickets, signed gear, special in-game experiences, stadium tours and face-time calls with alumni players.

The first winner will be announced on September 29.

“The health and safety of our community is our number one priority,” said Dr. Damion Martins, chief medical officer of the New York Jets. “As New Yorkers continue to get back to school, work, and events, we encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated to do so.”
Eligible New Yorkers 18 and older can enter to win prizes for the whole family and parents and guardians can enter for their eligible 12 – 17-year-old children.

“I’m proud to be a part of this dynamic initiative to get New Yorkers vaccinated,” said Bruce Smith, a Hall of Fame defensive and who played for the Bills from 1985-1999. “We’re all players on the same team in the fight against COVID-19. Together we can win.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 percent of New York adults have received at least one vaccination dose. Additionally, 59.3 percent of teens aged 12-17 have received at least one dose, as well as 68.9 percent of people aged 16-25. Hochul is hoping that this incentive will make the numbers go up even more.

“As we heard from the players themselves, the best defense is a good offense,” said Hochul. “New York state has made tremendous progress in vaccinating eligible New Yorkers – but there is still work to be done. As a new football season begins, I am proud to announce this unique vaccine incentive program with all of New York’s professional football teams to continue this work on a new playing field.”

This is one of the most expansive vaccine promotions to date. It includes vaccine encouragement videos and radio segments from former players of each team who have received the vaccine themselves. These messages are integrated across the social media platforms for the teams and is broadcasted in English and Spanish.

New Yorkers can visit, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a nearby vaccine location and get vaccinated against COVID-19 today.

To learn more about New York State’s #VaxandWin football sweepstakes, interested New Yorkers can visit the site here and eligible New Yorkers can enter the sweepstakes here.

“I thank New York’s teams — the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets — for kicking this creative program off with us and joining the state in spreading the message on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve been waiting, now is the time to get vaccinated.”