NFL requiring coaches, team staff to get COVID-19 boosters

The Associated Press

The NFL is requiring coaches, front-office staff and team personnel to receive a COVID-19 booster by Dec. 27.

In a memo sent to teams on Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said: “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation.”

The league’s requirement extends to all Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals who have previously received the vaccine. Though players are in the Tier 1 designation along with coaches and trainers, the mandate doesn’t apply to players because discussions with the NFL Players Association are ongoing.

The CDC recommends an individual who received a second Pfizer or Moderna shot to complete the primary vaccine series more than six months earlier should receive a booster shot. A person who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot more than two months earlier should receive a booster shot.

The following do not have to meet the requirement:

— An individual who is not eligible for a booster pursuant to the CDC definition.

— An individual who is in the 90-day test holiday after a confirmed positive COVID-19 test under the league protocols.

— An individual who received monoclonal antibodies within the immediately preceding 90 days.

— An individual whose “S” antibody level on an antibody test administered via BRL (BioReference Lab) at the club facility is 2500 or greater.

The league says anyone who is not currently subject to the requirement for boosters will be required to obtain the booster within 14 days of becoming eligible.

Teams were asked to provide booster shots to all eligible tiered staff as soon as possible, and to consider making booster shots available for player and staff families and cohabitants.

A season-high 36 players were placed on the league’s COVID-19 list on Monday.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll addressed the possibility of players getting complacent about the virus.

“That’s it. That’s the whole issue worldwide,” Carroll said. “People get fatigued from it. We just can’t. We can’t let that happen. Even though everybody is human and you get worn down by the reminders. It’s stressful when you have to be continually reminded and thoughtful of something that you wouldn’t normally do. It wears on you, and we try to avoid it. We look for ways to get out of it. That’s the conversation we hear all the time, that’s the national clamor.

“It is about being diligent. Diligence comes from the constant reminders and the discipline that it takes to stick with it.”

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