Major League Baseball will require non-player team personnel, including managers and coaching staff members, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to gain access to the field and other restricted areas this postseason, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Currently, unvaccinated staff members must receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine by October 4 — with an appointment for their second dose scheduled — in order to have field access, per Rosenthal.
Certain teams — the Nationals, Astros and Cubs reportedly among them — have already mandated vaccinations for full-time employees. Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reported Friday morning that two former Nationals staffers are filing a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission after being fired for failure to comply with the organization’s vaccination mandate. This is the first instance of a league-imposed vaccine requirement for team personnel to gain field access. MLB has previously relaxed health and safety protocols for teams that had vaccinated at least 85% of Tier 1 personnel over the course of the season in an effort to encourage widespread vaccination.
The league’s vaccination mandate does not directly affect players. Any potential player vaccination mandate, either on the part of MLB or specific teams, would need to be agreed upon with the MLB Players Association, perhaps as part of talks regarding the upcoming collective bargaining agreement.