DETROIT – There are 2.6 million people in Michigan who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
There are more than 89 million people in the entire United States who have been fully vaccinated.
As more people receive the vaccine, there is a push to return to group activities. That includes sporting events. So, what are professional sports teams in Metro Detroit doing when it comes to vaccines?
It’s still the NFL offseason.
The Detroit Lions said that right now there is no mandate for players to get vaccinated.
The league has informed clubs that employees should be vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious reason for not doing so.
The MLB and MLB Players Association distributed a joint memo at the end of March saying players and staff are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine.
Fully vaccinated individuals will have relaxed precautions. There are chances for whole teams to relax once 85 percent of players, coaches and personnel get vaccinated.
The Detroit Tigers were offered the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the game on Opening Day. Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch said Tigers’ family members were offered the vaccine on the off day.
The NBA and NBA Players Association sent a similar memo saying that vaccinated players will have more freedoms.
If teams get to 85 percent vaccinated, they’ll be able to dine in restaurants, be able to leave team hotels and lose the masks at the practice facilities.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey had COVID in March and recently received his vaccine. Casey said education is key. He talked with his players about the vaccine and its importance. Many pistons players chose to take the Pfizer vaccine when it was offered.
“They were excited about it once they were educated,” Casey said. “And read and did away with all the bad information that’s out there about vaccines.”
Detroit Red Wings
The NHL is weeks away from the end of the regular season.
Jeff Blashill said there has been no directive from the league on vaccines. The Red Wings were offered the Pfizer vaccine recently and he said a majority of players and coaches got vaccinated.
“The more people who can get vaccinated the closer we can all get to living a more normal life. I hope as many people can get it as quick as possible,” Blashill said.
Blashill said there is value in pro-athletes and highly-visible people getting the vaccine so the public feels more confident in it.
The Pistons organization has a similar point of view. Recently, a PSA with Coach Casey and Pistons players was created.