More than 40% of EFL players are NOT double jabbed despite Covid cases rocketing at clubs across the country – as lower leagues switch to ‘red protocols’… with talks of a potential two-week break in process

  • EFL stars shown reluctance to get vaccine with 41 per cent not double jabbed 
  • A quarter of players are not willing to get jabbed despite Covid cases on the rise 
  • It comes as the Omicron variant continues to cause havoc in English football 
  • Squads are being ravaged by Covid and more matches postponed by the day

An incredible 41 per cent of players in the English Football League are not double jabbed — and 25 per cent have no intention of having the vaccine.

The eye-catching figures have been revealed at a time when the season is on a knife-edge due to rocketing Covid cases across the country.

As of November, just 59 per cent of players were double-vaccinated with a further 16 per cent indicating they were ‘set to get the jab’. Of that group, six per cent were yet to have their first shot.

More than 40 per cent of EFL players are yet to receive both jabs as Covid fears ramp up 

With games falling victim to outbreaks at a number of clubs, fans will be hugely frustrated with players for placing the season at risk of being curtailed.

Meanwhile, the EFL are preparing for at least seven more postponements for this weekend’s round of fixtures which have already been decimated due to rising Covid cases across squads.

Sportsmail has learned that a potential two-week break has been privately discussed by officials at certain clubs as a way of placating the situation that is threatening to run out of control — but for now, the EFL are trying to play as many games as possible.

The EFL have also decided to switch to ‘red protocols’ as Covid chaos rips through football.

A quarter of players said they were not interested in getting the vaccine whatsoever  

From Saturday a host of fresh measures will be reintroduced as part of a desperate attempt to avoid the season being temporarily shut down, with matches continuing to fall victim to the Omicron surge.

Daily testing will be brought in along with enhanced protocols at training grounds, with social-distancing measures required outside physical sessions. The use of indoor facilities will be restricted, as will group travel.

In an attempt to provide clarity, the EFL have issued match requirements. They say clubs will be expected to play when they have 14 players, including a goalkeeper, available from registered squad lists, along with ‘Under 21 players not on the squad list but who have played one league match, or any other contracted player not on the squad list but otherwise would have been eligible to play’.

It comes at a time when Omicron poses a huge risk to the game with matches being scrapped 

The EFL’s medical adviser, Dr Richard Higgins said: ‘In response to a growing number of Covid cases, the EFL have opted to strengthen protocols for all clubs to help minimise the health risks to individuals while seeking to mitigate against the threat of further fixture postponements in the weeks ahead.

‘Alongside enhanced protocols, which include mandatory testing ahead of matchdays, the EFL continue to strongly encourage players and staff at clubs to get fully vaccinated and obtain a booster jab if eligible to do so.’

The Premier League are considering whether to disclose the latest percentage of their players still unvaccinated but on October 19, they said 68 per cent were double-jabbed and 81 per cent had been administered a first dose. 

The EFL are ramping up protocols, including daily testing, to avoid the season being shut down

Meanwhile, clubs in League One and Two are concerned their players are returning false negative results from their lateral flow tests because they are not following the proper process.

There are clear instructions about how to swab the nose and throat correctly, and how to ensure the testing kit delivers an accurate result.

Yet several sources at lower-league clubs fear players are rushing the process, which could lead to some believing they are negative when the opposite is true. 

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