The New York Mets had their entire regular-season opening series against the Washington Nationals postponed due to COVID-19 issues affecting Washington, but Mets team president Sandy Alderson raised eyes ahead of Monday's game at the Philadelphia Phillies when he told reporters that some New York players were showing "hesitation" toward receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots.
The Mets have since arranged for vaccinations on Thursday at Citi Field following their home opener against the Miami Marlins and, per Justin Toscano of NorthJersey.com, spent part of Tuesday listening to an expert from the Hospital for Special Surgery speak about the safety of the vaccines.
"Just getting to talk about it for an hour," second baseman Jeff McNeil said ahead of Tuesday's matchup at Philadelphia, "a lot of the guys learned some stuff, and it’s something that definitely needed to be had."
McNeil added: "It's an extremely important topic and it's important for people to get vaccinated out there, so hopefully we can get some guys to get vaccinated and help everyone out."
He did, however, say he wasn't sure if he would receive a vaccine jab on Thursday.
"It's a personal decision," he explained. "I'm still looking at all the facts. The meeting today was pretty helpful and comforting. I know a lot of the guys are going to get vaccinated on Thursday so I may be one of those. We just got to look at all the information and do what's best."
MLB has alerted teams that COVID-19 health and safety protocols can be relaxed if 85% of a club's Tier 1 traveling party gets vaccinated. Manager Luis Rojas previously said he plans to receive the vaccine on Thursday.
"Right now we're encouraging the guys (to get vaccinated)," Rojas said. "I think this video, personally, helped a lot today to educate us. We encouraged the guys to go and do it and to get to that percentage. But that’s something that we'll have to wait and see."