Soccer-British sports minister urges reluctant players to get COVID-19 vaccine

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By Reuters
Soccer-British sports minister urges reluctant players to get COVID-19 vaccine
Soccer-British sports minister urges reluctant players to get COVID-19 vaccine   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p> – British sports minister Nigel Huddleston has urged footballers who do not intend to get the <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 vaccine to “overcome their reluctance” because it is their social responsibility.</p> <p>With games being postponed due to <span class="caps">COVID</span> outbreaks at several clubs, the English Football League (<span class="caps">EFL</span>), which governs the lower divisions of the sport, said on Thursday that a quarter of players from its 72 clubs do not intend to get vaccinated.</p> <p>“I recognise that some people can’t get vaccinated, but we all need to encourage those who aren’t vaccinated to overcome their reluctance,” Huddleston was quoted as saying by the <span class="caps">BBC</span>.</p> <p>“The overwhelming majority of those seriously ill from <span class="caps">COVID</span> in hospital are unvaccinated. The most important thing anyone — including footballers — can do to protect themselves, co-workers and loved ones is to get vaccinated and get a booster.”</p> <p>The Premier League’s most recent data on vaccination levels in mid-October found that 81% of players had received at least one vaccination dose with 68% double vaccinated.</p> <p>“Getting the jab is the socially responsible thing to do. Many footballers and sports stars have used their profile and social media to encourage people to get vaccinated. I am very grateful to them, they can reach people that ministers can’t,” Huddleston added.</p> <p><span class="caps">EFL</span> medical adviser Richard Higgins has urged players to get fully vaccinated and obtain the booster jab if eligible as the Omicron variant takes hold.</p> <p>European soccer’s governing body <span class="caps">UEFA</span> has also launched an information campaign to encourage players to get their vaccinations.</p> <p>“I know the football authorities are also working with players to understand why some are vaccine hesitant,” Huddleston said.</p> <p>Member of Parliament Jeff Smith also urged footballers to get the vaccine, describing them as “important role models for millions of people.</p> <p>“Vaccines are safe, effective and the best protection we have against <span class="caps">COVID</span>,” he said.</p> <p>“<span class="caps">COVID</span> can affect everyone, including fit young people. Getting vaccinated is not only about protecting yourself — it’s about protecting everyone around you.”</p> <p/> </div>