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Premier League Stars Not Ready to Promote Covid-19 Vaccine After Gareth Southgate Episode

England's manager Gareth Southgate (AFP)

England's manager Gareth Southgate (AFP)

Premier League stars are not ready to take part in the pro-vaccination campaign to inspire players to take the COVID-19 jab.

Premier League stars are not ready to take part in the pro-vaccination campaign to inspire players to take the COVID-19 jab. The refusal by footballers to take part in publicity campaigns has further increased after England boss Gareth Southgate last month revealed the abuse he received for his pro-vaccination stance. In July, Southgate on behalf of NHS released a video requesting the younger generation to get vaccinated. However, several people on social media were not happy with his decision and used an array of colourful words in their criticism of the Three Lions boss.

Speaking to media while announcing England’s squad for World Cup qualifiers, Southgate had revealed the abuse he received for promoting vaccination. He had even said that he faced more abuse for pro-vaccination stance than his penalty-taker selections in the Euro 2020 final, which led to their defeat against Italy. He even went on to say that online abuse could be a reason that players are not willing to take part in publicity campaigns.

Now, in a new development, according to Daily Mail, the vaccination rate among players in the recent weeks has stalled. Following this, several EPL clubs held a talk to release a video featuring a few big stars to promote the importance of getting the jab. However, they were not successful in their effort as not many players were ready to volunteer for the cause.

The report says that while Premier League is yet to disclose the number of vaccinated players, the figure remains around 70 per cent among the staff and footballers.

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A briefing by chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was also organised for the club managers and captains to debunk the vaccine myth but they are not able to find players to lead their publicity campaign.

To promote vaccination, England’s football bosses have also sent information to players in question and answer format. They are also working with lower division clubs to set up vaccination centres in stadiums and training grounds.

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first published:September 22, 2021, 15:52 IST