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Vaccinated Minnesota Vikings player was hospitalized for COVID-19

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A Minnesota Vikings player was hospitalized Tuesday night due to COVID-19 as the team continues to struggle with the virus throughout the week.

"One of our players that was vaccinated, he had to go to the ER last night because of COVID. It's serious stuff," head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday at a news conference. "Like 29 guys are getting tested because of close contact, including myself."

Zimmer declined to name the hospitalized player, but ESPN and NFL Network reported that it was offensive lineman Dakota Dozier. Dozier, who is vaccinated, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last Friday.

Dozier is now in stable condition, according to Zimmer, who said the situation was "scary."

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Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Dakota Dozier (78) and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (15) lead the team onto the field before the game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Dakota Dozier (78) and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (15) lead the team onto the field before the game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been proven to be at least 70% effective in preventing illness, and upwards of 90% effective in preventing severe cases. Studies also suggest that booster shots, which are available for certain segments of the population, increase those efficacy rates.

According to the league's protocols, fully vaccinated players must return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart in order to return to the team facility.

Linebacker Ryan Connelly, offensive lineman Tim Parris, center Garrett Bradbury and safety Harrison Smith are also currently on COVID-19 reserve list. This list could potentially expand due to the additional 29 members of the organization being tested this week due to close contact to Dozier.

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vaccinated Minnesota Vikings player hospitalized with COVID-19