Vaccine questions cast shadow over Euros

Several members of the Belgian national soccer squad, the Red Devils, were immunised against corona virus on Monday evening.  Around half the players did not take up the offer to get the jab now. Coach Martinez says all players will be immunised at the end of the day.

Several players are worried about side effects.  The players were being inoculated ahead of their age group.  They were scheduled to get their second shot during the Euros and that is thought to have put some off.

Toby Alderweireld, Timothy Castagne, Thibaut Courtois, Jérémy Doku and Thomas Vermaelen all got the jab on Monday.

Speaking during Wednesday’s news conference Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said that all players would be vaccinated, but some would be vaccinated right after the Euros.  “It’s a personal and medical choice.  Some internationals already have antibodies.  Most players have been vaccinated.”

Martinez accused the media of making a mountain out of a molehill: “We are in favour of vaccinations” he said.  “We are following UEFA rules and will tackle the Euros in a bubble.  We are grateful to everyone for the vaccinations.”

All the non-playing staff in the Red Devils’ bubble have been vaccinated. Martinez explained that everybody is in favour of vaccination.  All players received specific advice based on their individual case: “These are medical decisions intended to let everybody perform at their best.  Some players already have antibodies.  A majority of players has been vaccinated.  We are in favour of vaccination.  That’s not under discussion.”


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