MLB COVID vaccinations slow, no additional teams reach 85%

NEW YORK (AP) — The pace of coronavirus vaccinations in Major League Baseball has slowed, with no additional teams in the past week joining the 22 that had already reached the the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other on-field personnel.

Major League Baseball and the players’ association said Friday that 85.3% of tier 1 and 2 tier individuals had been fully vaccinated and 86.5% had received at least one dose.

Previous weekly announcements included just tier 1, and MLB said on June 11 that 83.5% had been fully vaccinated and 85.1% had been partially vaccinated.

Tier 1 includes players, managers, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning staff.

Tier 2 includes ownership, front office staff, travel staff, head groundskeepers and ballpark operations staff.

Once a team reaches 85% vaccinations among tiers 1 and 2, it has the option to apply loosened protocols to tier 2.

Among changes to protocols made Wednesday, all fully vaccinated players and staff can stop wearing masks in dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses. In addition, fully vaccinated players and staff may eat in restaurants without restrictions and attend sporting events as spectators at venues with government approved safety protocols, the commissioner’s office and players’ association said in a memo sent Wednesday night.

There was one positive test, involving a player, among 9,104 tests in the past week, a 0.01% positive rate.

So far this season, there have been 66 positive tests — 37 players, 29 staff — among 203,523 samples tested, a 0.03% positive rate. The positive tests are among 25 teams.

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