A recent study by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control found that a number of footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar have declined to be vaccinated. Many believe this is because they are already rich and don’t want to risk injury from vaccines.
In recent years, many footballers have been hesitant to accept vaccinations. This is due to a fear of being forced into it or losing their job for not taking the vaccine. However, there are some things that can happen next if they do not take the vaccine.
Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion does not want to get vaccinated.
Football managers, the Premier League, regulatory organizations, and even politicians have all spoken out on the subject of coronavirus vaccination.
Despite having had Covid-19 twice, Callum Robinson of the Republic of Ireland and West Bromwich Albion said he would not be vaccinated on Tuesday.
So, why would some players be reluctant to be vaccinated, and how might this affect football? Most Premier League and English Football League teams have less than half of their players immunized.
Sport is looking into the matter.
Rewards, nations on the red list, and role models
The Premier League is exploring whether to “reward” teams with high coronavirus vaccination rates. Football officials want players to be double-vaccinated.
Only seven teams in the top division had more than 50% of their squads completely vaccinated as of two weeks ago.
Wolves is one of them, having verified to Sport that all of their first-team players and staff have been completely vaccinated since July.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claimed last week that “99 percent” of his players had been vaccinated and that he didn’t understand why others were hesitant.
Meanwhile, according to the English Football League, 49 percent of players are completely vaccinated as of September, up from just 18 percent the previous month.
Around 60% of individuals in the age range of a professional footballer (18-36 years old) have had their first dose of immunization.
Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta, Nuno Espirito Santo, Steve Bruce, and Graham Potter are among the Premier League managers who have previously urged their players to be immunised.
“I think they should consider it when all the scientists, all the doctors, all the big specialists in medicine say the only way to eradicate or help to move forward after this two-year pandemic situation is to be vaccinated,” said Guardiola, whose mother died in April 2020 after contracting coronavirus.
Karl Darlow, the Newcastle goalkeeper, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
If further motivation is required, Premier League players will only be permitted to go to UK-designated’red-list’ countries like Brazil to represent their country in this month’s World Cup qualifiers if they are completely vaccinated.
Sport knows that, contrary to certain media claims, Fifa does not want any player to be denied entry to the Qatar 2022 World Cup due of their vaccination status, and is looking at alternatives to being completely vaccinated, such as evidence of Covid-19 recovery or negative testing.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has described allegations that some England players have declined to get vaccinated as “disappointing.”
“They are societal role models. People, particularly young people, will look up to them, and they should recognize this, as well as the impact it may make in terms of motivating others “Javid said.
After being hospitalized with Covid-19 in July, Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow has openly urged other players to obtain the vaccination.
Darlow, who had just recently returned to full health after “terrible tiredness” and a five-kilogram weight loss, told Sport in September that his experience had persuaded “a few” of his teammates to be immunised.
He went on to say that “four or five” additional Newcastle players had not been vaccinated, “hopefully for legitimate reasons.”
However, vaccination is a personal decision for the athlete, so what might those reasons be?
Misinformation, complacency, and WhatsApp groups are all issues that need to be addressed.
Nearly 49 million individuals in the UK have gotten a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with nearly 45 million receiving a second dose, representing an uptake of 89.8% and 82.5 percent of over-16s, respectively. external-link
Some individuals, however, refuse to get vaccinated for a variety of reasons, including a lack of trust in the vaccination, worries about side effects, or a fear of needles.
Others, a small percentage, refuse to get vaccinated due to internet disinformation and conspiracy theories, especially on social media.
This has had an impact on the uptake of players as well.
The Times reported in September that players were spreading false information via WhatsApp groups, with PFA chief executive Maheta Molangoexternal-link advising them not to “accept all the myths and falsehoods” online.
Professor Jonathan van Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, has provided advice to all players, including a myth-busting videoexternal-link, and Boston United supporter Van Tam also briefed Premier League captains last month.
Boston United players were immunized by Professor Jonathan van Tam.
Rochdale club doctor Wesley Tensel reiterated those sentiments on Tuesday, telling 5 Live Breakfast that vaccination rates at the League One team were “extremely low.”
“I believe one of the causes is social media, because there’s a lot of anti-vax material floating around, and it gets shared around the locker room,” he added.
“Most workplaces are not like football locker rooms. Because they’re all in the same room, it’s an echo chamber, if one of the senior players or an important person sees anything on social media and passes it on to someone else, they’re not likely to question where it came from, and they might wind up down a rabbit hole.”
Tensel is also a general practitioner who works as the clinical lead of a local immunization clinic. When a clinic is available, he says he sends a message to the players, but “it’s gotten to the point now where nobody responds.”
Robinson, who plays for West Bromwich Albion, says his decision not to be vaccinated is “my choice at this time.”
He said, “It’s clearly frustrating that I’ve gotten it twice but haven’t been vaccinated.” “At some point down the road, I may change my mind and want to do it.”
Stephen Kenny, his Republic of Ireland manager, said: “There are many misconceptions and problems around virility that people are worried about, as well as other issues, and I believe it is complicated. I am not a medical expert, but I trust the professionals and believe it is best to have two vaccinations.”
Stuart Dallas, a double-vaccinated Leeds United and Northern Ireland midfielder, stated that although no one can be compelled to do anything, he opted to receive the vaccination “to go back to normalcy as quickly as I could.”
Another reason players are opting out may be complacency, since infection rates among Premier League players have been low this season.
Four additional positive instances of lateral flow testing were discovered among 2,927 players and staff at top-flight teams in the last two rounds of lateral flow testing last week.
Since the week beginning August 23, this number has remained in the single digits every week. Why is vaccination a concern when so few players get coronavirus?
“These athletes are clearly young and fit, so I can see why they would believe vaccination isn’t required,” Tensel added.
“I’ve talked to a few of the older players to get their perspective on why they believe the uptake is low, and some of the answers have been that they don’t want to become sick if they receive the vaccine, which might impair their performance.”
“On the other side, if they have Covid, which a number of our players have had in the past year, they’ve been out for 10 days and have been very ill, so I don’t believe that argument holds up.”
What might be the next step?
So, what is football’s response?
While only around half of EFL players are completely vaccinated, the league claims that 75 percent have had one dose, two doses, or plan to get the vaccination. This is an increase over the previous month’s figure of 70%.
The EFL says it is working closely with the NHS to offer mobile vaccination clinics to clubs, and Sport understands that teams in the Premier League are continuing to talk with their players to urge them to obtain the vaccine.
In order to boost vaccination uptake, the government continues to engage closely with clubs.
However, Kenny, the Republic of Ireland manager, believes it would be “very extreme” if players were not chosen for international games based on their vaccination status.
So, maybe football could take a look at how other sports do things?
After achieving an 85 percent vaccination goal in rugby union, Saracens have allegedly made face masks and social distance optional.
However, in the NBA of the United States, a stricter adherence to procedures means that unvaccinated players are checked more often and kept as far away from vaccinated players as possible.
They are also prohibited from “higher-risk situations,” such as restaurants and other places of leisure.
The NBA denied Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine, stating that he would be unable to play in any home games until he met San Francisco’s health requirements for attending large indoor events, including those involving elite athletes. After that, he decided to get the vaccination.
The why aren’t footballers vaccinated is a question that has been asked for a while. Some people believe that footballers are hesitant to be vaccinated because they don’t want to risk their health or not get into the team. Reference: why aren t footballers vaccinated.
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