On Monday, ESPN reported that the NFL had 37 positive cases of COVID-19. It’s reported that one of these cases was of the Omicron variant in the Washington Football Team organization.
Shortly after finding the 37 positive tests, the league released a memo outlining that all Tier 1 and Tier two staff members must receive COVID-19 booster shots by December 27 in order to effectively be considered fully vaccinated.
“On November 29, the CDC issued a study showing that the effectiveness of the approved COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time and has recommended that all eligible vaccinated individuals over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot,” the memo reads. “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation”
“In accordance with the CDC recommendation, all Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff, who have previously been vaccinated and are eligible under CDC guidelines, must receive a booster shot no later than December 27.”
Prior to the beginning of the 2021 season, the NFL required that all Tier 1 staff — which includes coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and staff — be fully vaccinated unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.
The mandate had an immediate impact, with some coaches refusing to receive the vaccine. Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison was moved to a new role in Minnesota — senior offensive advisor — after abstaining from the jab due to his inability to be around players.
Now, “fully vaccinated” takes on a new meaning.
The NFL outlined the steps that staff must take in order to effectively be considered fully vaccinated:
- An individual that received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot to complete their primary vaccine series more than six months earlier should receive a booster shot;
- An individual that received their Johnson and Johnson shot more than two months earlier should receive a booster shot;
- Individuals may select any of the approved vaccines for their booster. Some people may elect to receive the vaccine type that they originally received, while others may prefer to obtain a different booster.
Here is the memo NFL sent out 4 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/yo3wVu8FLq
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) December 14, 2021
The league is allowing an exemption for those who have high levels of antibodies, and for those who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or received monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days.
“An individual whose “S” antibody level on an antibody test administered via BRL at the club facility is 2500 or greater,” are not subject to the booster requirement.
While the NFL does not have a vaccine mandate for its players, they have implemented strict rules for any players that remains unvaccinated.
For those that have not received the vaccine, COVID-19 testing is required every day, masks must be worn when at the team facilities and while traveling, they may not use the sauna/steam room, leaving the team hotel to eat at restaurants is prohibited, and no social/media/marketing/sponsorship activities are permitted.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, the NFL tightened COVID protocols for all, increasing testing and requiring masts at team facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
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