Last Friday, MLB announced that nine teams had reached the 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold among Tier 1 personnel that would allow the league to eventually loosen certain coronavirus-related health and safety protocols. Additionally, 81% of the league’s Tier 1 “essential employees” were partially or fully vaccinated at that time.
The shots seem to be working.
MLB and the MLB Players Association have confirmed that zero new players and only one staff member from an alternate site tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week. To compare, two active MLB players and two alternate site players returned positive results in the prior round of testing. Meanwhile, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced on Wednesday four new players returned positive results over that league’s most recent week of testing.
Any MLB players, managers or coaches who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days before they’re cleared to return to team activities.
Like other leagues, MLB is not mandating players be vaccinated to participate in the season, but this latest development should encourage those who haven’t yet received shots that the vaccines are effective and aren’t keeping players off the field for weeks at a time because of potential side effects.