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UA football coach, super fan team up to promote COVID-19 vaccinations


For Immediate Release:
August 27, 2021

Media Contacts
Amy Webb, Chief of Communications

Gavin Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Communications

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – A pair of new Public Service Announcement videos debuting today feature University of Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman and well-known Razorbacks super fan Canaan Sandy encouraging fans to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

The videos were produced by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) under the new Medicaid Vaccination Program, or MVP. This initiative was created to bring more awareness to the benefits of the available COVID-19 vaccines, particularly among the state’s Medicaid clients.

“We’re vaccinated and want to encourage everyone to do their part and get the vaccine too,” Pittman says in one of the videos, noting that the vaccines mark “the best way to keep us all protected so we can get back to normal.”

All three available COVID-19 vaccines are safe, highly effective, and available at no cost in every county in Arkansas. Earlier this month, the Pfizer vaccine was granted full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for anyone who is 16 years or older. It had previously been available under an emergency use authorization.

In tandem with the MVP awareness campaign, Arkansas Medicaid providers can receive an enhanced rate for administering the first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines between now and Oct. 11. During this time, Medicaid will pay $100 rather than the usual $40 vaccine administration rate for each first- or second-round dose.

 “It’s important that we continue to educate those who haven’t been vaccinated about the many benefits of getting the shot,” said DHS Secretary Cindy Gillespie. “And with Razorback football season about to kick off, there may be no better spokesmen for this important mission than Coach Pittman and Canaan Sandy.”    

The new PSA videos featuring Pittman and Sandy will be featured on DHS social media channels as well as in paid digital advertisements. The videos are available to watch, download, and share below:

Video 1: ‘Can I get a hug, coach?’: Watch | Download

Video 2: ‘The best way to keep us all protected’: Watch | Download

Video 3: ‘Let the COVID-19 vaccine be your offensive line’: Watch | Download

Audio: Download

Social media graphics: Version one | Version two | Version three

Additional resources from the MVP campaign are available at

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