‘Get vaccinated or you will get Covid’: Jonathan Van-Tam tells hesitant stars of Premier League teams to get jabbed as soon as possible in a ‘myth-busting meeting’ after players shared anti-vax messages on social media
- Van-Tam has reportedly urged all Premier League players to ‘get vaccinated’
- England’s deputy chief medical officer held a virtual meeting with the 20 Premier League captains earlier this month to dispel myths around the vaccine
- Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire was ‘extremely supportive’ of the idea
England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has reportedly urged all Premier League players to ‘get vaccinated’ as soon as possible after warning them that they ‘can’t outrun’ the virus.
A virtual meeting on August 2 was held by the Premier League with all 20 teams’ captains in a bid to dispel any myths around the Covid jab and get vaccinated before the start of the new campaign.
According to The Telegraph, Van-Tam and the Premier League medical officer Mark Gillett looked to reassure the players over the vaccine in the hope the information would reach their team-mates.
The report goes on to claim that Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire was ‘extremely supportive’ of the idea to get double-jabbed and will encourage his team-mates at Old Trafford to follow suit.
Many players left the country this summer for holiday breaks or tournament football when all adults under the age of 30 were invited to take up the vaccine, with some yet to do so.
It comes after confirmation that players in England’s top division would not be forced to get vaccinated, despite clubs fully encouraging their players to do so.
Jonathan Van-Tam has reportedly urged all Premier League players to ‘get vaccinated’
It comes after the Premier League confirmed players will not be forced to accept the vaccine
Premier League chief executive told The Telegraph about the message that was being sent to the players in the virtual meeting.
Masters said: ‘We [Premier League] cannot mandate vaccination and we are not [doing that]. We are trying to explain to the captains who then explained to the squad players – and this message will be coming through from club doctors and club executives – that if you are not vaccinated it might make life more difficult for you. You won’t be able to do things that vaccinated people can.
‘Professor Van Tam explained the potential downsides or risks of vaccination are far outweighed by the potential risks and downsides of getting Covid. He said that one thing is very sure: you will either get vaccinated or get Covid. You can’t outrun it. Eventually you will get it. From his perspective he was trying to do a little bit of myth-busting around some of the issues or views out there.’
The Premier League’s pandemic protocols will remain in place for players at training grounds and in dressing rooms as there are fears the season could unravel because of the disruption caused by positive Covid-19 cases.
Van-Tam held a virtual meeting with the 20 Premier League captains earlier this month, including Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson (right) and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire (left)
There is a concern Covid outbreaks could still impact the return of football this season
It needs only two or more positive tests at a work building, such as a training ground, for Public Health England to intervene and potentially close a training ground.
Several players have expressed concerns about the vaccine.
Everton midfielder Fabian Delph published a quote on Instagram from the Healing Chamber, a holistic medical practitioner based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
‘It’s now a ‘conspiracy theory’ to believe that the immune system is capable of doing the job it was designed to do,’ the post read. The former Liverpool defender, Dejan Lovren, has said that nobody should be forced to be vaccinated.
‘Everyone should choose, when I read people who are not vaccinated will not be able to find a job, I wonder if it is compatible with human rights,’ Lovren said. ‘I do not think that vaccines are dangerous but no one can make me take it.’
Lovren, who is now with Zenit St Petersburg, was eventually vaccinated ahead of representing Croatia at Euro 2020.
Leon Legge, who plays for Port Vale, shared anti-vaccine sentiments on social media with nearly 10,000 followers.
In one post, he wrote: ‘People don’t realise that the vaccine hasn’t enough evidence or data to be even be legally called a vaccine.’
Fabian Delph published a quote on Instagram which was about the Covid-19 vaccine
Bristol City said they would educate staff on vaccinations after striker Nahki Wells shared anti-vaccine information on social media before deleting it hours later. He posted a series of conspiracy theory memes, including one purporting to be advice on ‘how to legally decline a vaccine’.
Premier League clubs started their vaccinations programmes over the summer, with many players now double vaccinated.
Covid officers will continue to patrol training grounds to ensure players do not socialise for longer than 15 minutes.
It was a lack of vigilance that allowed Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount to chat to Chelsea team-mate Billy Gilmour after the England-Scotland Euro 2020 game for more than 20 minutes, which meant Chilwell and Mount had to isolate after Gilmour caught coronavirus.