Granit Xhaka recently made the headlines for catching Covid when it was revealed he had not been vaccinated, but it seems he is far from alone in the Premier League which has the worst uptake rate in the world.
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According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, the Premier League is trailing behind major sports across the globe when it comes to getting its players vaccinated.
Despite a number of managers, including Mikel Arteta, pleading with players to get vaccinated, it seems like few are heeding their words.
The MoS report that vaccine hesitancy is rife amongst Premier League footballers due to top players sharing stories on WhatsApp of scare stories including heart defects and a loss of ‘virility’.
Few top players, current or former, have spoken out to encourage players to get vaccinated which is in stark contrast to the NFL in America where they have around a 95% vaccination rate, thanks, in part, to ‘legends’ of the game encouraging others to get vaccinated.
From the paper’s survey, 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs have vaccination rates below 50% with around 49% of all players in the league double-jabbed.
25% of players in the EFL have also stated they won’t be getting the vaccination which has been subject to vast amounts of misinformation, almost all of which has stemmed from just a handful of people who don’t really know what they’re talking about (if we’re kind about it).
Liverpool stand apart in the Premier League with 99% of their players vaccinated.
The MoS survey also found:
- Tennis uptake, which had similar ‘hesitancy’ problems, has improved by around 20% in the last six weeks to hit around 60-65%
- Premiership Rugby clubs have a rate of around 85%
- Rugby Super League had a rate of around 78% in mid-September
- 96% of England’s international cricketers have been double-jabbed
- Major League Soccer has a 95% rate
- The PGA Tour is around 85%
- Major League Baseball is around 87%
- NBA is at 95%
- The National Basketball League in Australia and New Zealand is at 99%
“We are trying to explain all the reasons why we believe it is the right thing to do,” Arteta said last month.
“How much it will protect first of all the club, secondly their teammates and the environment they are around, the exposure we will have if they don’t do it.
“But at the end of the day, it is a really personal thing.
“Obviously they will be limited in certain aspects if they don’t because we don’t want to expose ourselves in certain things. But at the end, it is a personal matter, it is not an obligation and we have to respect that.