14 NFL teams hit 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold as rates slow

With players from multiple NFL clubs reporting to training camps this week, COVID-19 vaccination rates among teams continue to improve but have also slowed. 

NFL Media’s Judy Battista tweeted Thursday that a total of 14 teams have reached the 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold among players needed for the loosening of certain virus-related health and safety protocols. Additionally, over 78% of players around the league have received at least one vaccine shot. 

To compare, 13 teams had crossed the 85% threshold as of last Friday, and 73.8% of players had gotten at least one shot as of that same time. However, both of those numbers increased on a daily basis the previous week.

On Wednesday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield became the latest NFL personality to suggest he’s been vaccinated against the coronavirus, in part, because doing so gives his club a better chance of winning this fall. 

“Obviously last year was new for everybody,” Mayfield explained while speaking with reporters at his youth football camp. “So it was a lot of learning the protocols and whatnot. It definitely poses a competitive advantage for higher vaccine rates on your team just because of the close contact [rules] and what happens if somebody does unfortunately get COVID, what can happen to the rest of the building.

“It’s a competitive advantage but it’s also way more than that. It’s about safety and just general health and well-being of human life. So I’d leave it at that.”

Teams that don’t reach the 85% vaccination mark will largely have to follow guidelines similar to those used during the 2020 season before shots were available to all NFL employees.

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