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Josh Allen uncertain about getting COVID-19 vaccine, against mandate

Matt Johnson

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn’t a fan of the franchise tag and he doesn’t seem too sure about whether or not he will get the COVID-19 vaccine before the 2021 NFL season.

Allen, who is coming off an MVP-caliber year, enters 2021 as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Coming off a season that saw countless league personnel test positive for COVID-19, with multiple games postponed, many players are weighing whether or not they will seek out the vaccine this year.

In an interview on 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt Allen talked about the COVID-19 vaccine and whether or not he will get it and what factors will play into the decision.

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“I’m still debating that. I’m a big statistics and logical guy. So if statistics show it’s the right thing for me to do, I’d do it. Again I’d lean the other way too if that’s what it said. I haven’t been paying attention to it as much as maybe I should have. I’ve just been doing my thing and masking up when I’m going out and just staying close and hanging around family.”

Josh Allen on whether or not he will get COVID-19 vaccine, via 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt

Much like every league, the NFL is paying very close attention to the decisions players are making. Both the NBA and MLB have not created mandates for their personnel, special rules have been put in place to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. MLB’s protocols for the 2021 season include relaxed restrictions for players and staff who are vaccinated and teams with 85% vaccination rates will be given more freedom away from the diamond.

The NFL is in a difficult spot. While it avoided any major setbacks last season during the worst stages of the pandemic, the league lost $4 billion in revenue. Things are expected to be closer to normal this fall, but the league wants to see as many of its players get vaccinated as possible.

While Allen is still open to the idea of receiving the vaccine, he is opposed to a league-wide mandate and believes it would violate the U.S. Constitution.

“I think everybody should have that choice to do it or not to do it. You get in this tricky situation now where if you do mandate that that’s kind of going against what our constitution says and the freedom to kind of express yourself one way or the other. I think we’re in a time where that’s getting a lot harder to do. Everybody should have that choice.”

Josh Allen on whether or not he will get COVID-19 vaccine, via 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt

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Will NFL players, coaches be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The NFL released in Memo in March, detailing its safety protocols inside team rooms for the 2021 NFL Draft. While many precautions are being taken, the league will not require individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, they included additional benefits for those that choose to be vaccinated. A maximum of 10 fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed inside the draft room, they won’t be required to wear masks. Additionally, eating and drinking will be permitted. If there are non-vaccinated personnel in the draft room, strict social-distancing guidelines must be followed, masks must be worn and there will be no eating or drinking.

Both the NFL and NFL Players Association have encouraged their members and fans to get the vaccine whenever available. As with draft rooms, the league will create more relaxed protocols in training camp and during the 2021 season for those that are vaccinated and clubs with the highest vaccination rates will have more freedoms inside the building.