Days after New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick used some incorrect data and seemed to question the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations, the NFL’s chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills issued a response.
Belichick told reporters Wednesday that the vaccination status of quarterback Cam Newton had nothing to do with his release from the team, but then he took things a step further when he tried to propose that the vaccines aren’t making a difference in the spread of the virus.
“I would just point out that I don’t know what the number is, but the number of players, coaches and staff members that have been infected by COVID in this training camp — who have been vaccinated — is a pretty high number. So I wouldn’t lose sight of that,” Belichick said.
As reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, unvaccinated personnel tested positive for the virus at a rate seven times that of unvaccinated individuals from Aug. 1-21.
Speaking to NFL Network’s Judy Battista on Thursday, Sills cited that data and further proved Belichick’s stance to be wrong:
“We released our data last week from the first three weeks of August, and that data has consistently shown higher rates of infection in unvaccinated players than in vaccinated players. That was true at intake when they first came into training camp and it was true during that first three-week period of August that we released.
From a medical perspective, those of us in the medical field, go to any major medical center in the country and as you walk around, those patients who are hospitalized, those who are in the ICU, you see the evidence the vaccines are working.
We know that vaccines are working. What we are seeing are some vaccinated people who test positive. But their illness tends to be very short and very mild, and that’s exactly what the vaccines were designed to do. Let’s all remember the vaccines were designed to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. They’re doing a terrific job of that so far, not only in the NFL where we haven’t seen any serious cases but in society as a whole.
I think we will continue to see some people who are vaccinated test positive but again, with very mild symptoms, short duration of illness and good outcomes.”
Now that it’s been discussed multiple times with data to back it up, here’s hoping society as a whole — or at least Belichick — will realize how dangerous his take is.
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