At least a quarter of Football League players say they will refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine, with authorities concerned that the number of players getting the jab has slowed drastically over the last month.
Although the number of players to have been double jabbed has increased from 18% in August to 49% in the latest set of figures, that number appears to have hit a brick wall.
“The number of players who have been immunised or plan to get the jab has gone up by only 5% over the past month,” reports the Mail on Sunday.
“Approximately 75% of players this month across the EFL are fully vaccinated, have had a single jab or intend to be vaccinated,” according to the report, meaning a full quarter do not intend to get the shot.
The main reasons the players cite for declining to take the shot is that are they young, healthy athletes who likely won’t face serious illness even if they get the virus, in addition to concern over the side effects of the vaccine.
“They are also concerned by stories of people suffering heart inflammation after taking the vaccine, even though official medical agencies have reported such cases as “very rare,” according to the report, with speculation still raging as to whether Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 might have been caused by the vaccine.
As we highlighted last month, despite a massive PR push to encourage vaccination, and the threat to teams who don’t achieve high rates being punished, only 7 of the 20 Premier League clubs have more than 50% of the players in their squads vaccinated.
The fact that so many holdouts remained led to footballing authorities having to reverse a vaccine mandate for players performing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
The government and media continue to blame “conspiracy theorists” for influencing the players not to get the jab.
This is tremendously stupid and disrespectful given that these athletes are at the top of their game and being obsessed with health and fitness is literally their job.
If the people whose very careers and livelihood is wholly dependent on them remaining healthy, shouldn’t we be paying attention when they express hesitancy about taking the vaccine, or should we merely dismiss them as uninformed cranks?
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