A new push to increase the number of coronavirus vaccinations among elite players has been agreed between Premier League clubs, after concerns were raised about the poor take-up levels.
A number of Premier League clubs have voiced private concerns about the relatively low numbers of players in their squads who are fully vaccinated, but Sky Sports News has been told there is now a new agreement among clubs to make vaccinations a priority within squads.
Newspaper reports on Friday suggest only around 35 per cent of players in the top division have received the jab, but Premier League insiders have told Sky Sports News the numbers are actually much higher than that.
Most Premier League players have had at least the first Covid vaccination, though take-up levels for the second jab have been described as “disappointing”.
Following Wednesday’s meeting of Premier League executives in central London, the clubs have now agreed to discuss the matter afresh with their own players, and encourage them to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Premier League is determined to stay one step ahead of any more draconian measures that may be introduced by Government in coming months, should there be a spike in coronavirus cases.
Fully-vaccinated squads also make training and travel much easier.
The Government’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has recorded a video, sent to all top clubs, where he spoke in very direct terms about the importance of footballers getting the jab.
In the three-minute address, Van-Tam answers some of the concerns that players had raised about the vaccinations not guaranteeing you won’t catch coronavirus.
Van-Tam responded directly to that point, saying that he has seen a number of professional footballers hospitalised as a result of the virus, and that being double-vaccinated cuts your chances of serious illness or death by up to 95 per cent.