ESPN reported on Monday that the NFL has had 37 positive cases for the coronavirus. According to this report, one of those cases was the Omicron variant involving someone with the Washington Football Team organization.
Not long after the 37 positive tests, the league put out a memo that outlined all Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff members need to get their COVID booster shots by December 27 if they want to be considered fully vaccinated.
“On November 29, the CDC issued a study showing that the effectiveness of the approved COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time and has recommended that all eligible vaccinated individuals over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot,” the memo says. “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation”
“In accordance with the CDC recommendation, all Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff, who have previously been vaccinated and are eligible under CDC guidelines, must receive a booster shot no later than December 27,” it continues.
Prior to the beginning of the 2021 season, the NFL required that all Tier 1 staff — which includes coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and staff — be fully vaccinated unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.
The mandate had an immediate impact, with some coaches refusing to receive the vaccine. Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison was moved to a new role in Minnesota — senior offensive advisor — after abstaining from the jab due to his inability to be around players. Now, “fully vaccinated” takes on a new meaning.
The NFL outlined the steps that staff must take in order to effectively be considered fully vaccinated:
- An individual that received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot to complete their primary vaccine series more than six months earlier should receive a booster shot;
- An individual that received their Johnson and Johnson shot more than two months earlier should receive a booster shot;
- Individuals may select any of the approved vaccines for their booster. Some people may elect to receive the vaccine type that they originally received, while others may prefer to obtain a different booster.
Here is the memo NFL sent out 4 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/yo3wVu8FLq
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) December 14, 2021
The league is currently allowing exemptions for individuals who have high levels of antibodies and for individuals who have tested positive for COVID or who have received monoclonal antibodies sometime in the last 90 days.
There is currently no vaccine requirement for players.