Red Sox Having ‘Ongoing Conversations’ About COVID-19 Vaccination

MLB is offering to relax restrictions for teams that reach a certain rate


COVID-19 vaccinations are one of the hottest topics both in sports and across the United States as the pandemic moves into its second year.

The virus already has not been kind to Major League Baseball this season, either — and Opening Day only was Thursday.

MLB has challenged teams to reach 85% vaccination among players and primary field staff in exchange for amenities like communal clubhouse video, pool tables and team saunas, per the Associated Press. Fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed to eat and drink on flights, gather indoors without masks or social distancing (so long as non-vaccinated people aren?t present) and use Uber or Lyft. (Rules would not be relaxed in group facilities at ballparks, including clubhouses, though.)

There are “a lot of ongoing conversations about vaccinations” within the Boston Red Sox organization, Alex Cora told reporters Tuesday. And the manager knows education will be crucial toward individual decision-making about inoculation.

“Obviously, that’s something that the individual has to decide what he wants to do,” Cora said during his video press conference before Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. “We will talk about it. We will bring in people to explain how the effects or the aftereffects or no effects of the vaccine. But in the end, the player, the individual, the coach or whoever is in the organization will decide if he wants to do it.

He later added: “Obviously, we know what’s going on around the league, right? … There’s ongoing conversations in the clubhouse, but as an organization, you know, the people upstairs, they’ve been in contact with a lot of people about the chance of getting it done. And obviously when, or if, we get to it, the conversation will become more serious with the players and explain a lot of stuff that they don’t know. So, I’m looking forward for those conversations to go.”

While Cora did not want to speak for the team as a whole, he confirmed he is interested in getting the shot.

“From my end, I’m all for (getting vaccinated), you know?” he said. “Whenever I get a chance to do it, I’ll do it. They know it. … Whatever they decide to do, is their decision.”

1,530,080 people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening, according to the state.

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