One of the lingering (but fading) front-line arguments against the COVID vaccine is that people who get vaccinated can still get COVID. That’s correct; they’re also far less likely to end up hospitalized, ventilated, or six feet under.
From the NFL’s perspective, the 2021 protocols contemplate the possibility/inevitability of vaccinated players testing positive. Based on Thursday’s memo, however, vaccinated players who test positive will have a much easier path to returning to action.
From the memo, if a vaccinated player tests positive and is asymptomatic, he will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur. He then will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24-hours apart and will thereafter be tested every two weeks or as directed by the team’s medical staff.
In contrast, an unvaccinated player who tests positive, will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted
to return to duty if asymptomatic.
There’s another benefit to being vaccinated. For players who get the vaccine, there will be no quarantine a a result of close contact with an infected person. For unvaccinated players, close contact results in a five-day quarantine.
It’s another reason for unvaccinated players to realize that getting vaccinated has tangible competitive advantages, by making it easier for vaccinated players to be available to play.