93% of NFL players are vaccinated against COVID-19, the league itself reported, emphasizing that it had sought to make immunization mandatory, something the union refused to do.
Likewise, the league has requested that the players’ union adjust the protocols, so that vaccinated athletes undergo weekly tests and not every 14 days. Non-immunized players will have to undergo daily tests.
JC Tretter, president of the NFL Players Association and center for the Cleveland Browns, said earlier this week that the decision not to make inoculation mandatory was made by the league. Now, NFL officials have rejected that claim.
“We have discussed mandatory vaccination from the beginning,” deputy league chief legal officer Larry Ferazani emphasized Thursday. “In fact, we took the initiative and required that the staff and the coaches be vaccinated in order to have access to a player.
“From that point on, we started to send signals for what different union experts also accept is the best way to protect players and staff, which is to have a 100% vaccination level. That was our request, and we would love for that order to go into effect tomorrow. “
Nor are the leaders of the league required to be vaccinated.
The NFL reported 68 positive cases, from 7,190 individuals tested, from Aug. 1 to Aug. 21. The incidence of 0.95% is lower than in most communities.
Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said nearly all of the detected cases were of the delta variant. He added that vaccinated individuals have presented very mild and shorter-lasting symptoms.
According to Sills, none of the players who have tested positive required hospitalization.
On the daily tests, Sills recognized that these “do not constitute a prevention.”
“They are a part of our mitigation strategy, but not the key part,” he commented. “It is not only tests that will allow us to face this wave.”
The NFL reported that 120 players have received warning letters, while 25 have been fined for violating provisions related to the use of masks or tracking devices.
Under league rules, a first violation of protocols is punishable by a $ 14,650 fine. Repeat offenses can lead to suspensions or deduction of a week’s salary.