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Washington Nationals, Houston Astros to require vax for non-playing employees

May 7, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; General views of the vaccination check in offered at the ball park prior to the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; General views of the vaccination check in offered at the ball park prior to the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros are mandating their non-playing staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment.

First reported by ESPN Friday, the Nationals confirmed their decision in a statement to multiple outlets.

“Like many organizations, the Washington Nationals decided to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all full-time staff,” the team’s statement read. “Employees were notified of this policy on August 12 and had until August 26th to either provide proof of full vaccination, proof of first shot or apply for an exemption.

“As a company, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep one another safe and felt that mandating vaccines was the absolute right thing to do for our employees and our community.”

It was not yet known which other organizations, whether in Major League Baseball or elsewhere, mandated vaccinations.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in July that those who work in his office were subject to a mandatory vaccination policy.

Still, such requirements are not yet widespread around baseball, and players are a notable exception because the MLB Players’ Association would have to agree to a mandate.

–Field Level Media