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MLB not requiring COVID-19 vaccines for minor-leaguers

Unlike major-league players, who must follow rules collectively bargained by the MLBPA, those on minor-league contracts are not collectively organized.
A view of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park during the MiLB International Championship game in 2019 in Durham, N.C. Major League Baseball will not require players with minor-league contracts to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this season.
A view of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park during the MiLB International Championship game in 2019 in Durham, N.C. Major League Baseball will not require players with minor-league contracts to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this season. [ BRIAN VILLANUEVA | ZUMAPRESS.com ]
Published Jan. 27|Updated Jan. 27

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.

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How to get tested

Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites in the state. Some information may be out of date.

The U.S.: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

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How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:

Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your ZIP code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

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More coronavirus coverage

OMICRON VARIANT: Omicron changed what we know about COVID. Here’s the latest on how the infectious COVID-19 variant affects masks, vaccines, boosters and quarantining.

KIDS AND VACCINES: Got questions about vaccinating your kid? Here are some answers.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

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