The Premier League revealed on Monday that 16% of players have yet to receive a single dose of the vaccine, with the remaining 84% being described by the league as “in the process of being vaccinated”.
The league later announced that 90 new cases of Covid were recorded last week, out of a record 12,345 tests administered to players and top club staff amid the Omicron wave.
Six Premier League games were called off last weekend due to Covid outbreaks at individual clubs, although United’s hosting of Arsenal at Elland Road remained the only game on Saturday.
Dual immunization status is essential for teams to minimize future postponements, given the difference in isolation rules depending on the immunization status of an affected player.
Any unvaccinated or single-vaccinated player must self-isolate if they are considered close contact with a person confirmed to have Covid and therefore themselves become an unavailable player, while a doubly vaccinated player must simply continue testing.
Leeds defender Diego Llorente missed the 4-1 loss to the Gunners after testing positive for the virus, which left Marcelo Bielsa with a staggering 10 players for injury, suspension and Covid.
“At Leeds United, the players’ leadership group has decided that vaccinations will be a pillar of their solidarity with their teammates and staff, as well as civic responsibility,” Kinnear wrote in The Sunday Times.
“This allowed 99% of our playing and back room team to be fully immunized which was the critical difference from yesterday. [vs Arsenal] match in progress.
“While everyone I have met in the game believes that vaccination is a personal and free choice, it seems inevitable that players who refuse a vaccine and are unable to exercise their profession effectively, begin to face challenges. broader and more punitive consequences – as it is felt in the rest of society.
Kinnear later added: “The unity, resilience and collaboration that supporters, players, clubs and leagues have shown in response to the pandemic is not just the spirit that we must rekindle over the course of the next few months as we keep this season alive, but ethics that should be the foundation of our national game governance going forward.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters wrote to clubs last week urging them to ‘strongly encourage’ players to get vaccinated as a league meeting ruled matches will continue during the period. holidays in the face of the growing Covid crisis.
Leeds are currently preparing for a clash against Liverpool at Anfield on Boxing Day before hosting Aston Villa on December 28.
Burnley will then visit LS11 in the New Year on January 2 for what could be a pivotal meeting in the midst of the battle to avoid top relegation spots.