Phillies vaccine rate reaches 85 percent

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Phillies reach 85 percent vaccinations, will have protocols relaxed originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies are vaccinated.

Not all of them.

But enough of them to please Major League Baseball.

Manager Joe Girardi revealed on Wednesday that the club has reached an 85 percent rate for vaccination against COVID-19. The figure applies to players and staff at the major-league and Triple A level.

By reaching 85 percent, the Phillies will now see some health and safety protocols relaxed. Most notably, players and staff who work closely with the team will no longer have to wear digital tracking devices around the ballpark. Those trackers are used for contact tracing.

In addition, players can access meeting areas in groups and will no longer be required to wear facemasks in close quarters, such as team charter flights. With 85 percent of the group vaccinated, there will be less testing. Unvaccinated players and staffers are still subject to testing.

It’s not clear which players remain unvaccinated or which previous objectors decided to take the shot. Girardi, who is vaccinated, has steadfastly said it’s a personal choice.

“I don't really pay attention to it," he said. "I really don't. I know that I am vaccinated. But I have other things to worry about.”

The Phillies have had several cases of COVID-19 this season and seen a number of players sidelined for stretches due to close contact.

Having an 85 percent vaccination rate does not completely prevent a team from having a COVID breakout. The New York Yankees were one of the first teams to reach 85 percent and they had an outbreak earlier this season.

The Phillies are the 24th club to reach an 85 percent vaccination rate. The Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Royals remain under the 85 percent threshold.

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