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MLB not requiring COVID-19 vaccines for minor leaguers

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 27, 2022

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball will not require players with minor league contracts to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this season but is mandating that most staff receive the shots.

While players with major league contracts are unionized and rules regarding them must be negotiated by the Major League Baseball Players Association, players with minor league contracts are not collectively organized.

“Our expert consultants have advised that fully up-to-date vaccination of all on-field staff and others with close player contact provides a safer environment in which to prevent infection and transmission,” MLB said in a statement Thursday.

MLB’s decision was first reported by ESPN.

“Reasonable accommodations will be considered for staff members who receive an exemption to this requirement. Such exemptions will be considered on an individual basis and in accordance with state law. We continue to strongly encourage vaccination among minor league players and make resources available to minor league teams and players toward that goal,” MLB said.

The Spokane Indians offered a written statement in response to MLB’s decision.

“We remain committed to keeping Avista Stadium a safe and family friendly destination, and will continue to assist MLB and the Colorado Rockies with any guidelines and/or recommendations from either organization,” the team wrote.

Spokesman-Review reporter Colin Tiernan contributed to this report.

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