In major league clubhouses, vaccine hesitancy appears to be fading.
More than 81% of players and other team personnel have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, the league said Friday.
The league also said that nine of its 30 teams have reached the 85% threshold. The league did not identify the teams.
Of the nine, four are considered “fully vaccinated,” defined as two weeks past the final dose. Those four teams now are eligible to relax health and safety protocols.
For instance, team members would be allowed to go out for dinner on road trips. They would be able to gather in indoor spaces without masks or social distancing (so long as no nonvaccinated people are present), take fewer COVID-19 tests, use ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, and meet outdoors with anyone on trips. They would no longer be required to wear masks in dugouts or bullpens.
The other five teams that have reached the 85% mark are expected to achieve fully vaccinated status within two weeks.
The league applies the 85% threshold to what it calls Tier 1 personnel, defined broadly as players and those with the greatest access to them: managers, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff and some front-office personnel.
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