NFL instructs teams to set up vaccination sites for players and staff

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The NFL is telling all 32 teams that they should get involved in making sure their employees are vaccinated.

In a memo sent by the league office today to team chief executives, presidents, general managers and head coaches, the NFL said all clubs are expected to participate in the effort.

“Use your stadium or training facility as a vaccination site for club staff, players, and eligible family members,” the league’s memo said. “This can be done through a ‘Vaccination Day’ (or its equivalent), which many clubs have already planned, or by making vaccine appointments available to your employees and their families on a convenient and regular basis. Clubs should update the League Office of its plans in this respect, and percentage of Tiered staff vaccinated by April 19.”

The league also said top employees who are not getting vaccinated will need to document that they have a valid reason.

“Tier 1 and 2 employees (other than players) should be expected to be vaccinated unless they have a bona fide medical or religious ground for not doing so. Any staffer that refuses to be vaccinated without either a religious or medical reason will not be eligible for Tier 1 or 2 status and therefore will not be permitted access to the ‘football only’ restricted area and may not work directly or in close proximity with players,” the memo said.

Although the NFL isn’t requiring players to get vaccinated, the league is strongly encouraging them, and encouraging teams to encourage them.

“Schedule and participate in vaccine information sessions for players, families and staff,” the memo directed. “Use those sessions as an opportunity to address concerns or a need for further information, particularly among players and family members. The overwhelming consensus among medical and public health experts is that the most effective way for someone to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19 – and the risk of infecting others – is to be vaccinated.”

Nearly 75 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, with tens of millions more having received one shot, and the vaccine has proven safe and effective. The way to end the pandemic is for everyone to get vaccinated, and the NFL is doing its part.