The New York Mets finally got their 2021 season underway on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies after seeing its opening series postponed after health and safety protocols were instituted following several Washington Nationals players testing positive for COVID-19.
Despite seeing how a potential outbreak can cause disruptions and delays, if not potentially more severe consequences, Mets president Sandy Alderson admitted Monday that “there has been some hesitation on the part of some players” on the team over whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Because of the uncertainty among some Mets players, the team has scheduled a Zoom session Tuesday with an independent medical expert who is expected to extol the wisdom, not to mention safety, of getting vaccinated.
What’s more, the Mets will schedule a vaccination session at Citi Field on Thursday with the hope that Tuesday’s educational presentation will convince more players to be inoculated.
“We want to get as many players vaccinated as possible,” Alderson said, per the New York Post. “I think that’s in the best interests of the team. It’s in the best interests of their families. It’s in the best interests of those who work with the players. So I hope that in addition to their own personal medical considerations that they take all of those things into consideration as well. We’re hopeful they will.”
The Mets have an off day scheduled Friday, which would allow players who are vaccinated Thursday to see whether any short-term side effects occur following the shot.
Major League Baseball, as is the case with the NBA as well, has incentivized receiving COVID-19 vaccines for teams. A joint memo from MLB and MLBPA distributed to teams late last month encouraged all players and staff to “receive one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines where eligible.”
Further, teams that reach an 85% vaccination rate among its Tier 1 members (players and those who come in close contact with them like coaches, managers and trainers) would see health and safety protocol measures and restrictions loosened, as spelled out in this NY Post report.
“I‘m hopeful that we will get a large number of our players vaccinated, as well as our additional traveling party,” Alderson added Monday. “There are incentives for public health. There are incentives … to lift the kind of restrictions they’re faced with now. So there are lots of reasons and hopefully we’ll get as many players vaccinated as possible.”