Thirteen players from FTCC Athletics have opted to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The student-athletes, who play for FTCC’s baseball and softball teams, recently got the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine at Cape Fear Valley Health’s Pavilion North location on Ramsey Street.
They went as a group to showcase their support for the vaccination effort. They were joined by Dr. Murtis Worth, FTCC’s Dean of Nursing, and Interim Head Softball Coach Keith Edgerton.
Cumberland County is one of a handful of counties in North Carolina allowing individuals in Group 5 to receive vaccinations. Group 5 includes anyone over the age of 18. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds can get the Pfizer vaccine as long as a parent is present and gives permission.
Dr. Shannon Yates, FTCC’s Athletic Director, worked with Worth to schedule the vaccinations for the athletes.
“Fayetteville Tech is really promoting all of the students getting the vaccine and reaching herd immunity on campus,” Worth said. “That’s what’s going to keep everyone the safest. We’re really proud of the athletes for coming out and being the first in line here. For them to come out and show their leadership and support, we’re supporting them.”
In the United States, the virus has claimed more than 549,000 lives, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. More than 154 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Worth received the vaccine in December after volunteering with the clinics hosted by the Cumberland County Health Department.
“I truly believe herd immunity is the answer to ending the pandemic,” she said. “I asked the athletes today if they felt they were one step toward the answer, and they said ‘Absolutely.’”
Some of the student-athletes shared the reasons for why they decided to receive their first vaccination dose. For most, it’s about protecting those around them, from their family to fellow teammates:
“I have a small niece and nephew, two and three, and I have grandparents who both struggle with respiratory issues. I’d like to go home and see my family and be safe. The last time I saw them was Christmas and New Year’s.”
-Tyee Turner, 18, Left-handed pitcher, from Detroit, Michigan
“My dad has an illness, and I would really like to not give him anything. I just want to be safe, and him to be safe. Having a vaccine will give you that. I’ve been looking for my chance to get [the vaccine], and I live with my family so I don’t want them to get sick.”
-Faith Squire, 18, Outfield, from Fayetteville
“I’m here because I already caught COVID-19 and another reason is I really want things to go back to normal. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine for things to go back to normal as well.”
-Alea’ah Graham, 18, Shortstop, from Teachey
“I have a grandmother who is in a living facility, and you have to have a vaccination to see her. The last time I saw her, face-to-face, was two Christmases ago… I’ll be able to see her in May. It’s good to know; she’s my favorite grandma.”
-Daniel Worley, 19, Left-handed pitcher, from Canton
“My grandparents are older, and I’ve lived with them during the summer. I decided it would be a good idea to get it. The last time I saw them was Christmas break. I’m getting this just in case I see them this summer, and I don’t want to give them anything.”
– Wyatt Carey, 18, Left-handed pitcher, from Charleston, New Hampshire
“My parents have the vaccination and my grandparents do, too. I’m following what my family did. I was nervous about the vaccine at first, but I’m comfortable with it now.”
– Evan Anderson, 21, Outfield, from Fayetteville
“My stepmom recently got a kidney transplant, and I want to be safe around her and not worry about anything. I’m here, just for her. and I want things to go back to normal eventually, and it will probably help everybody to get vaccinated.”
– Mollie Gould, 19, Catcher, from Morehead City
“I’ve already had COVID, and my grandma has diabetes along with other family members, and I’m trying to keep everything safe around them, and for my team, so everything can go back to normal.”
– Dayona Bandy, 19, Third Base, from Raeford