Lack of vaccinations in EFL paint worsening scenario
Covid-19 continues to rip through football across England and the UK over the last week, but the knowledge that it could only get worse on the back of poor vaccination rates is frustrating after data in the EFL revealed a high percentage of footballers who ‘do not intend’ to receive the vaccine.
Those numbers were mentioned by Mail Sport correspondent Mike Keegan after it came to light that only 59% of the player pool are fully-vaccinated, while a staggering 25% stated they will not receive one.
EFL has told its clubs latest figures (Nov) show double vaccinated players total 59% while 16% say they will get vaccinated and 25% of players ‘do not intend’ to get jabbed.
— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) December 16, 2021
The figures were compiled from data through November and does not include the last two weeks, but the concern remains real after the EFL has made the decision to switch to ‘red protocols’ in the wake of the massive outbreak that has gripped football in the country. Such measures will include daily Covid-19 testing as well as new distancing rules which will hopefully avoid triggering a circuit breaker in match cancellations in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Regardless of the new measures set to be deployed, the frustration that a quarter of EFL players will not take active measures to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus remains a concern as the footballing pyramid looks to get a grip on the latest surge.
Premier League under siege by Omicron variant
If the EFL needs a prime example of just how quickly the situation can go from bad to catastrophic, they only need to look above them in the pyramid at the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the Premier League over the last week.
Multiple fixtures across the top flight of English football have already been canceled including Leicester City vs Tottenham that was scheduled for this evening as well as Manchester United vs Brighton slated for tomorrow.
BREAKING: #BrentfordFC boss Thomas Frank wants this weekend’s full round of Premier League fixtures postponed to “break the chain” on the current Covid crisis.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 16, 2021
Brentford boss Thomas Frank has already pleaded for the full round of upcoming weekend fixtures to be canceled in an attempt for the league to get a handle on the situation, while sources have told ESPN that there is increasing support for a temporary shutdown of the Premier League until the weekend of January 8-9.
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has also weighed in on the situation, urging fans and players alike to listen to the experts regarding Covid-19 rather than the rampant misinformation that continues to be disseminated across media and social media platforms.
The unfortunate reality for the EFL and Premier League alike is that it could well be too late to avoid a pyramid-wide shut down of football until the latest surge is over.