NHL projects a 98% full COVID-19 vaccination rate among players before the 2021-22 season


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When it comes to vaccination rates among player, the NHL is leading the charge in North American sports. According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that the NHL is projected to have a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 98% before the start of the 2021-22 season.

This would mean that between just 10-15 players would not be vaccinated when the 2021-22 season starts on Oct. 13.

Those unvaccinated players have to deal with stricter protocols throughout the season, as they won’t be allowed anywhere but the team hotel, practice facility and game arena on road trips. They also will not be permitted to have teammates in their hotel rooms or allowed to go to any public spaces on the road — and that includes restaurants.

The protocols could also include forfeiting paychecks for the days they are not able to join team activities.

The league is allowing exceptions for being unvaccinated due to medical reasons, conflicts with religious beliefs and establishment on the balance of probabilities, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Hockey operations staff do not have the same amount of leeway NHL players do, as they must be fully vaccinated ahead of the season.

With a 98% vaccination rate, the NHL is in the top percentage of players receiving the vaccine among major North American sports leagues. Here’s the vaccination rates, as of Sept. 3, of others leagues as reported by NBC Sports:

  • The NFL said 93% of players are vaccinated
  • The WNBA has a 99% vaccination rate
  • The NBA is at 90%
  • MLS has a 95% vaccination rate
  • MLB is at “around” 85%





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