There is no element of this pandemic that doesn’t rub up against sports eventually, and with at least one of the COVID-19 vaccines receiving full FDA approval, that means more mandatory vaccination programs are coming.
Sure enough, the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals are taking steps to require all non-player employees to get the shots:
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals have made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all non-playing full-time employees, sources tell @kileymcd and me.
Details on the first two MLB teams with compulsory vaccination policies at ESPN: https://t.co/yI6PEDmyZA
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 27, 2021
The Astros and Nationals aren’t alone, as MLB, itself, has required vaccination for employees, the NBA is doing something similar, and a number of NHL teams have similar policies. The vaccines, which are safe and effective, are the one of the best tools against serious illness and continued spread of the virus, which means employers do have a pretty direct interest in keeping their employees safe (for themselves, and from each others’ spread).
For MLB teams, because the players are in a union where these kinds of things are collectively bargained, they cannot mandate vaccination – so this applies only to other employees. But it’s a step toward this kind of thing happening all over the sports world, even as the majority of players and employees are already vaccinated.