Bill Belichick touts Patriots' COVID-19 vaccine education: 'I feel like we’re on top of it'
NFL said teams would not have to wear masks if vaccination rates were 90% for staff members
Bill Belichick touted how the New England Patriots have gotten the word out to their players about the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine.
Belichick was asked Thursday about how his team was faring when it came to educating players about the COVID-19 jabs.
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"I don’t think there are teams that have done any more than we have in this area. So, I feel like our players are informed and have the opportunity to be informed," the legendary NFL coach said, via the Boston Herald. "I’m pretty comfortable with what the organization, [team owner Bob] Kraft and our training and medical staff, with what we’ve done for everybody here. But there’s always new information.
"I feel like we’re on top of it, and we’re in front of it and we’ll be compliant with whatever rules or guidelines were given by the league and to some degree, the state. But when those two don’t align perfectly, then we’re bound by league guidelines."
The NFL dropped a mask mandate for fully vaccinated players and staff last month. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on May 26 that 30 of the 32 teams in the league had a vaccination rate above 90% for tier 1 and tier 2 level staff members.
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"We do think the players and our personnel are safer if they’re vaccinated," Goodell said. "I think that’s true throughout our country and throughout our world."
Washington defensive lineman Montez Sweat raised eyebrows Wednesday when he said he didn’t like the team’s attempt to persuade players to get vaccinated.
He said he "probably won’t get vaccinated until I got more facts and that type of stuff, but I’m not a fan of it at all."
Washington coach Ron Rivera said his staff and team employees were fully vaccinated, compared with nearly half of players.
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"We’re slowly getting more and more players vaccinated. It’s a choice. They’ve got to make a choice. We’re trying to stress the fact that if we can get to herd immunity we’ll really be able to get out there and enjoy things, so hopefully that’ll happen," Rivera said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.