NFL won't require players, personnel to get vaccinated
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

NFL has 'no intention' to require players, other personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines

Thus far, none of the "big four" North American professional sports leagues are requiring players, coaches, staff members or other personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots to participate in events such as games. 

The NFL won't be breaking that trend as of early spring. 

Per Kevin Seifert of ESPN, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said during a Thursday appearance on NFL Network that he hopes "everyone" will get vaccinated but also that the league currently has "no intention" of mandating vaccinations. "You'll see vaccinated individuals be able to have certain privileges, and certain precautions that are lifted that won't apply to unvaccinated individuals," Sills explained. 

"What we are focusing on is education. We want everyone to have the facts." 

Seifert wrote that it's hoped daily coronavirus testing of players and coaches won't be necessary by summer training-camp sessions. That, of course, could change depending on the number of people associated with teams who choose not to get vaccinated and also on the evolving natures of COVID-19 variants. 

On Monday, the NFL announced that an "Inner Circle" portion of the Draft Theatre at the 2021 NFL Draft held in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, from April 29 through May 1 will be opened only to fans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Next week, the Miami Heat will become the first NBA team to open seating sections specifically for fully vaccinated patrons. These developments have some believing major sports leagues could ultimately embrace the use of so-called "vaccine passports" for fans. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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