The Vikings brought in infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm today to talk to their players about the importance of getting vaccinated, and coach Mike Zimmer says that’s not just about not wanting players to miss games because of COVID-19.
Zimmer said he wants players to know the vaccines are safe and effective because he wants to keep them safe, and keep their families safe.
“I just care about these players and I care about their families,” Zimmer said. “That’s my main reason. If they miss a game because they get COVID, so be it. But I don’t want them to get sick and I don’t want their families to get sick and their kids to get sick or my grandkids to get sick.”
Zimmer said Osterholm was impressive and he hopes players paid close attention to what he had to say.
“I thought it went well,” Zimmer said. “He’s one of the top specialists in the world and I thought he was very good with his points, answered a lot of questions. Whether or not that changes anything, I don’t know, but we’re very thankful that he was able to come over and talk to the team in person.”
The Vikings have had a number of vaccine holdouts, most notably quarterback Kirk Cousins. At this point, people who haven’t received the vaccine probably aren’t the type to listen to scientists, and so even one of the world’s leading vaccine experts may not change the mind of Cousins or some of his teammates. But Zimmer wants to try anything he can.