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James Franklin: ‘I’ll Get Any Vaccine They Give Me’

As COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up across the country, many folks are itching to get protection from the virus, and Penn State football head coach James Franklin is no exception.

“I’ll get any vaccine they give me,” Franklin said Wednesday. “I’ll take them all. I’ll take the Moderna, I’ll take the Johnson & Johnson, I’ll take them all if they’ll help us getting back to normal, if they’ll help me getting back with my family.”

The head coach’s comments come on the same day the Bryce Jordan Center was named a state-run clinic for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While Franklin hasn’t gotten a vaccine yet, he’ll become eligible alongside all Pennsylvanian adults by April 19.

Franklin said he’s been able to live in the same house as his family this spring, but he’s been in an apartment above the garage. The head coach’s daughter, Addison, has sickle cell anemia, which has prevented him from seeing her and the rest of his family during the pandemic.

While Franklin is eager to get vaccinated, he doesn’t think mandating shots for Penn State students or football players is the right course of action just yet.

“I don’t think you can ever mandate. I think we’ve learned that in our country,” Franklin said. “What I think you can do is educate. When you talk about our football team and our campus and our community, statewide and nationally, you can educate on why it makes sense.”

While Penn State is still “exploring” distributing vaccines on campus, the university has yet to mandate shots for students or employees. Schools like Rutgers and Cornell are among those to require getting vaccinated before students return to campus in the fall.

Franklin isn’t for mandating shots at the moment, but he hopes to encourage the community to get vaccinated in the near future. He proposed the idea of doing a social media campaign similar to the one the team did about wearing masks over the summer.

“I think we could get to the point where we’d say, ‘Hey, look at Beaver Stadium’ and show flashes of Beaver Stadium and say, ‘If we want to get back to this is soon as we possibly can, [vaccines] is a step that we can take that would help,'” Franklin said.

Franklin also said he’d be interested in joining other Pennsylvania coaches like Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi and the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin in a campaign. He joined Miles Sanders in a similar commercial about voting in September.

The United States has administered more than 170 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date. In Centre County, 63% of citizens 65 or older have been fully vaccinated, while 18% of all residents have full protection from the virus.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a senior business and journalism major from "Philadelphia" and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things, including football and hoops. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9. Say hi via email at [email protected]

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