The Atlanta Falcons now take pride in being the first and only NFL team to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The NFL team officially confirmed earlier reports circulating by media outlets that the team has achieved 100% vaccination against the disease.
This comes after the Falcons announced a 92% vaccination rate on July 23 which was already higher than most NFL teams. The NFL has put new rules in place for this season that incentives and encourages NFL franchises to fully vaccinate.
Aside from novelty, this 100 percent fully vaccinated status comes with a lot of incentives and advantages for the Atlanta Falcons.
The NFL has had to delay and postpone a number of games last season which caused immense headaches for both organizers and players. To ensure that the new season runs smoothly, the NFL announced that they plan to cancel games that have any outbreaks related to COVID-19 this season.
If the NFL team responsible for the outbreak has unvaccinated members, they will be forced to take a loss. The losing team will also be responsible for paying the financial losses incurred by their opposing team. Finally, all the players from the tea with the outbreak will not receive any payment for the cancelled game.
The NFL now has the most stringent rules amongst all other major sporting leagues in the country when it comes to COVID-19 protocol. These stringent rules indirectly force NFL franchises to push for 100 percent vaccination and the Atlanta Falcons are leading the way.
Another benefit of getting fully vaccinated is having less restriction and safety mandates when in the league. These restrictions including the wearing of masks, following social distancing and taking COVID-19 tests.
According to media reports, more than 90% of NFL players are currently fully vaccinated. The Falcons is among the few teams who have all players fully vaccinated, though, along with football team Ole Miss Rebels as announced by their head coach Lane Kiffin. Among all sports leagues, the WNBA has one of the highest rates of 99% for players with full vaccinations.
Impact Of The Delta Variant In America
NFL’s stricter guidelines come with good reason as recent data shows that more than 600,000 have died from COVID-19. This is even made worse with the recent uptick in cases of the Delta variant which is more transmissible and contagious. These numbers have pushed the NFL to urge its franchises to ask all of their players and support staff to fully vaccinate.