Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed to the loosening of health and safety protocols for teams that have 85% of Tier 1 individuals (players, coaches, and those with direct access to them) receive the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
Approximately 10 teams have reached the threshold thus far, with more on the way. Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais said his team is gaining access to vaccinations following Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As for the Dodgers, many players and coaches have already gotten at least one dose. “If we’re not at 85 (percent), I know we’re darn close,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“I don’t know exactly. I think it includes the alt. site guys, so I don’t know the number. But I know we’re darn close if not there.”
Tier 1 individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their first or second dose, depending on which vaccine they received. Of course, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine temporarily halted, options at present time are two-shot doses of Moderna and Pfizer.
Players and coaches that meet the requirement can gather without masks in hotel rooms, carpool together, eat at restaurants and stay at personal residences when traveling.
Moreover, teams that reach the 85% threshold no longer have to wear masks in the dugout or bullpen and can restore clubhouse amenities such as pool tables, saunas and steam rooms.
Roberts previously revealed he was vaccinated while the Dodgers were wrapping up their Spring Training schedule in Arizona. “I had mine, so I just like to speak on my personal situation. I had mine a little while ago; one of two,” he said at the end of March.
“It’s a personal decision, but the more people that get it and if we reach that 85% threshold, we can kind of lax some things around the clubhouse and dugout, so I’m hopeful. “But again, that’s each man’s decision.”
Betts: Getting vaccinated is ‘personal decision’
Multiple Dodgers have been asked about potentially getting vaccinated, and the sentiment was to keep those matters within the team.
“I think we kind of keep those things in the clubhouse,” answered Mookie Betts when asked if he would receive the vaccine. “I think those are all kind of personal decisions, so I’ll leave it at that.”
As for whether or not he believed the Dodgers would meet the 85% goal, Betts reiterated, “These are all personal decisions for guys. They’ve got to do what’s best for them and their families. Obviously, we are all a team, but that vaccination and whole situation is a personal decision. I’d like to just leave it in the clubhouse.”
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