Everyone who lives or works in the state of New York became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, including professional athletes.
Because of that, the New York Rangers canceled practice on Wednesday to allow their players and staff members to get vaccinated, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
The Rangers said in a statement that "many" of their players and staff members have decided to get vaccinated.
1/2 Can deduce that reason Rangers canceled practice today was to set aside time for players, staff to be vaccinated.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) April 7, 2021
2/2 From NYR: "With the COVID-19 vaccine now extended to anyone over 16, we're excited that many of our players and staff opted to get vaccinated. We applaud New York's efforts to expand eligibility and encourage our fans to get vaccinated."— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) April 7, 2021
It's not surprising that a lot of players are opting to get vaccinated. The entire league is watching on in fear as the Vancouver Canucks' COVID-19 outbreak worsens. Other teams don't want to end up in a similar situation.
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported last month that a small number of players had already received the vaccine. The NHL is not requiring players to be vaccinated, though, following in the footsteps of the other major U.S. sports leagues.
All adults in America will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 19, meaning many other NHL teams could call off practice to encourage vaccination in the coming weeks.