Almost a third of English Football League players have not been – and don’t plan to be – vaccinated against Covid, according to new research. This comes amid reports that the EFL is launching an ‘education campaign’ aimed at getting more footballers ‘jabbed’ and has asked Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, to take part. The Telegraph has the story.
Telegraph Sport can reveal that the Premier League and EFL have been collecting data this season on the number of footballers in their competitions to have been inoculated against Covid amid mounting fears many are refusing to be immunised, putting themselves, others and the integrity of the game at risk.
Telegraph Sport has been told data collected by the EFL last month shows around 70% of players at its 72 clubs had received at least one dose of vaccine or were intending to get jabbed. …
The EFL findings are largely in line with Government data showing around 70% of 18 to 29 year-olds had received at least one dose of vaccine.
But football wants and needs a much higher rate of take-up among players in order to limit the impact of any Covid outbreak on them and the game itself amid a rising number of cases this season.
Telegraph Sport can disclose that the findings by the EFL have prompted it to launch an education campaign aimed at convincing more footballers to be vaccinated and it has approached Jonathan Van Tam… to be part of that.
As revealed last month, Van Tam addressed the captains of the 20 Premier League clubs on August 2nd as part of a drive to encourage them and their team-mates to get jabbed ahead of the new season.
Van Tam told them they could not “outrun” Covid and he and Premier League medical advisor Mark Gillett addressed some of the myths around vaccination that have been circulating among players and causing some of them to stall.
The precise impact of that meeting is unclear but several managers subsequently admitted not all of their players had been jabbed. …
Telegraph Sport has been told that some EFL clubs would like to impose mandatory vaccinations on footballers – as some businesses have done with their employees – but fear a revolt were they to do so.
The Professional Footballers’ Association has made it clear that, while it supports immunisation efforts, it would not agree to forced jabs.
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