Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart told reporters Tuesday that his program hit the 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold required for the loosening of some virus-related protocols.
Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban bettered that mark during Wednesday's SEC media days session.
According to Michael Casagrande of the Alabama Media Group, Saban said his team is "pretty close to 90%" for COVID-19 vaccinations. While the legendary coach explained receiving one of the shots is a personal decision for his players, he added the vaccines are the best way to ensure his team can take the field for each scheduled game.
"Players have to understand that you are putting your teammates in a circumstance and situation," Saban said. "We can control what you do in our building. We cannot control what you do on campus and when you go around town, who you’re around, who you’re associated with, and what you bring into our building."
Saban is spot on in that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday teams could be made to forfeit this fall if unable to play because of coronavirus-related absences.
"So every player has a personal decision to make to evaluate the risk of COVID relative to vaccine, and then they have a competitive decision to make on how it impacts their ability to play in games, because with the vaccine you probably have a better chance," Saban continued. "Without it, you have a lesser chance that something could happen, a bigger chance that something could happen that may keep you from being on the field, which doesn’t enhance your personal development."
Sankey also said Monday that only six of the conference's 14 football teams had crossed a vaccination mark of 80% as of that time.