The Buccaneers head coach said he expected long lines at the most recent vaccination campaign in Tampa Bay for players and families.
TAMPA – Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians hasn’t felt the need to bring in a specialist to talk to his players about the COVID-19 vaccine, something some players across the board have discussed. league have expressed skepticism in recent days.
While Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera brought in Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett to chat with his players Tuesday night, Arians said Thursday, “I’m the specialist.”
Bruce Arians believes the Bucs will be much closer to 85 percent vaccinated after this season. Getty Images
He told the players, “If you want to get back to normal, get vaccinated.”
Arians said the Bucs were holding a vaccination drive for players and their families at the facility.
“There will be a long line there now,” Arians said. “We are very short now. I hope we have a very long line.”
Previous vaccination campaigns have also been carried out at the facilities for coaches and employees. The goal is to have 85 percent of the team vaccinated, something Arians feels will be closer after the current season.
“Everyone here is tired of gathering outside and eating out, and all those things we had to do last year,” Arians said. “It is still a personal choice, but I see no reason not to be vaccinated.”
Shaquil Barrett, one of the Buccaneers already vaccinated, said he recommended it to his teammates. Getty Images
When asked if any players expressed concern or skepticism, as Washington’s Montez Sweat did Wednesday, Arians said, “I haven’t talked to anyone who has resisted it. They’re too lazy to go for one.”
Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett said he and his wife, Jordanna, received the vaccine. His four children are not yet old enough to qualify for the vaccine at this time, as the CDC currently recommends it be for people 12 years and older.
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Barrett missed the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons for being a close contact with a teammate who tested positive, even though he never tested positive. Regardless, he was forced into a five-day quarantine. Her children spent the school year learning from home in 2020, and did not hang out with other children because of concerns about the virus.
“It’s ‘To each his own.’ I recommend it,” Barrett said Thursday. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t get it. But whatever makes you comfortable, whatever helps you sleep at night, you do. But I’d like 85 percent of the team to be vaccinated.”