Premier League released vaccination rates among players; 81 per cent have had first jab and 68 per cent are fully vaccinated; PL said it "continues to work with clubs to encourage vaccination among players and club staff"
Tuesday 19 October 2021 17:42, UK
The Premier League has said that over two-thirds of its players are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 while over three-quarters have received at least one dose.
A statement released on Tuesday said: "The Premier League can confirm today that 81 per cent of players have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination dose with 68 per cent now fully vaccinated.
"Vaccination rates are collected by the Premier League on a weekly basis and the league continues to work with clubs to encourage vaccination among players and club staff.
"No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and player vaccination rates will be communicated at appropriate intervals in the future."
UK Government figures from October 6 showed that 60-65 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 39 had received a single dose of the vaccine, so the league's figure for single vaccinations is significantly above the average for the general population of the same age.
However, the league is still some distance behind the UK national average whereby, of those aged 12-plus, 86 per cent have had the first dose and 78.9 per cent have had both doses.
On September 29, Sky Sports News reported that 13 of the 20 clubs in the top division had squads where fewer than 50 per cent of the players were fully vaccinated against coronavirus - and take-up levels for the second jab had been disappointing.
The league reacted by writing directly to clubs offering a special "reward" to those who have the highest number of vaccinated players.
A special Sky Sports News survey of the top clubs in September revealed wide variations in take-up levels. Wolves, for example, said that all of their players are fully vaccinated.
Others, like Brentford and Leeds, have more than 90 per cent of their players vaccinated.
Many other clubs have told Sky Sports News that, while they've encouraged their players to be fully vaccinated, they cannot force them to have the jab.
Some clubs chose not to respond, because of employee confidentiality.
Premier League managers have shared differing opinions on the vaccine.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he does not understand why there is a reluctance among players to be vaccinated. He said 99 per cent of Liverpool players have been vaccinated and he did not have to convince anyone to do so.
However, after Chelsea's N'Golo Kante tested positive for the virus, manager Thomas Tuchel said in response that he will continue to treat his players like "adults" and won't force them to have the jab.