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Jonathan Van-Tam urges Football League managers and captains to get Covid vaccine

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Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam urges Football League managers and captains to get Covid vaccine to protect their families and make sure they can travel abroad

  • Jonathan Van-Tam has urged EFL managers and captains to get the vaccine 
  • A virtual briefing was attended by representatives of all 72 clubs on Tuesday 
  • Van-Tam used the meeting to dispel the myths surrounding vaccination 
  • Van-Tam warned that numerous players in all four professional divisions have been hospitalised after catching Covid-19
  • The players were also told that double vaccination would cut their chances of getting ill by 85 per cent, and reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 95 per cent 











Football League managers and captains were this week told to get vaccinated to protect their families and to ensure they can travel internationally at a summit led by deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam.

Sportsmail has learned that the EFL arranged the virtual briefing attended by representatives of all 72 clubs on Monday in an attempt to increase Covid-19 vaccination rates among players in the lower divisions, which are stuck at about 70 per cent despite them being put under pressure to get jabbed by their clubs. 

Van-Tam is understood to have used the meeting to dispel myths around vaccination which players have picked up from social media.  

Jonathan Van-Tam has urged Football League managers and captains to get the vaccine

Jonathan Van-Tam has urged Football League managers and captains to get the vaccine

In a question and answer session at the end of the briefing one player asked if the vaccine could reduce his fertility, which was dismissed by Van-Tam, who also emphasised that being jabbed would not have any impact on pregnant wives or girlfriends. 

Van-Tam also warned that players in all four divisions have been hospitalised after catching Covid-19, and that getting vaccinated is the most effective line of defence.

The players were told that double vaccination would cut their chances of getting ill by 85 per cent, and reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 95 per cent, as well as being reassured that vaccines do not contain any alcohol or animal products. The fact that Covid passports are required to travel widely was also raised.

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The EFL’s intervention is the result of considerable frustration at clubs with players who are refusing to get vaccinated or delaying their jab, which led them to ask for assistance from the Government.

The players were told that double vaccination would cut their chances of getting ill by 85 per cent, and reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 95 per cent

The players were told that double vaccination would cut their chances of getting ill by 85 per cent, and reduce the risk of hospitalisation by 95 per cent

The EFL collected data last month showing about a third of players had not received a single dose of the vaccine and had no plans to do so, sparking alarm that such attitudes could cause matches to be called off in the event of dressing-room out-breaks. 

While the EFL’s vaccination rates are largely in line with those of under 30-year-olds in the general public, numerous clubs have told their players that they have a responsibility to get vaccinated to protect the viability of the competition. 

Some clubs have even looked at putting compulsory vaccination clauses in players’ contracts, but have backed away from the idea due to the potential legal ramifications. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that not all of his players have been vaccinated

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that not all of his players have been vaccinated

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce also revealed that many of his players are not vaccinated

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce also revealed that many of his players are not vaccinated

Van-Tam’s briefing follows a similar address he made to the 20 Premier League captains at the start of August. Several managers subsequently admitted that not all of their players had been jabbed. 

They included Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, who lost Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Ben White to Covid-19 at the start of the season. 

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce revealed ‘a lot’ of his players had not been vaccinated despite goalkeeper Karl Darlow spending a week in hospital with the virus and losing two stone. 

In the EFL, Middlesbrough’s Neil Warnock has been the most outspoken manager against those refusing to be jabbed. The 72-year-old, who contracted the virus a year ago, said last month: ‘I’ve no idea where they’re getting their advice from, but I think it’s the wrong advice.’ 

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