Report: MLB Not Requiring Minor League Players To Be Vaccinated

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread across the United States more than two years after its discovery, and will likely become an endemic the world will need to adjust to living with.

With the virus unlikely to ever go away, MLB will need to decide on its virus-related policy moving forward.

Near the end of last year, the league started to require non-playing personnel to be vaccinated and appeared close to finalizing a vaccine mandate for Minor League players.

Now, MLB has decided against the Minor League vaccination requirement for the 2022 season, but vaccines will be required for staff who are in contact with the players, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:

Major League Baseball will not require minor league players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to play in 2022 but will mandate on-field staff working with players be “up-to-date” on vaccinations, according to a memo sent to teams Thursday morning and obtained by ESPN.

Ultimately, MLB decided against it, though it did put conditions into place for managers, coaches and others who will have in-person contact with players.

During the 2021 season, the vaccination rate across professional baseball was just less than 90%, according to Passan, and about 25% higher than the current vaccination rate across the U.S.

While the vast majority of players at the Major League and Minor League levels are vaccinated, a mandate would still affect around 1,000 players.

The decision from MLB comes just after President Joe Biden withdrew his vaccine and testing mandate for businesses after it was blocked by the Supreme Court.

While COVID-19 vaccines are not intended to fully prevent infections, they do provide defense against getting COVID-19 and are key to fighting death and hospitalization.

Mookie Betts worked to raise vaccine awareness

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been heavily involved in raising awareness and providing accessibility to the coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic, and those efforts entailed Mookie Betts joining forces with Kroger Health last July.

Betts appeared at a local Ralphs, where he greeted customers and helped inform those in search of more information regarding the vaccine. “Just trying to get the world back to normal,” Betts said of his participation.

“Just pretty much everything in that realm, don’t want more people to get sick and like I said, just return to normal. That’s step one.”

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