Ravens’ Lamar Jackson still unsure on vaccination despite getting Covid-19 twice

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson refused to be drawn on whether he will get a Covid-19 vaccine despite catching the virus twice over the past year.

The 2019 NFL MVP has returned to practice after the 10-day quarantine the league requires for any unvaccinated player who tests positive for Covid.

“I just got off the Covid list,” Jackson said on Monday when asked if he would now get the vaccine. “I got to talk to my team about this and see how they feel about it. Keep learning as much as I can about it. We’ll go from there.”

He then added: “We’ll see. Talking to the doctors. We’ll see.”

The Centers for Disease Control, the US government and scientists and doctors across the world say vaccines are vital to prevent deaths and the spread of the virus.

Jackson says he suffered from fatigue both times he caught the virus and slept a lot. He added that he was not worried he would suffer long-term health consequences from Covid.

“I feel it’s a personal decision,” Jackson said. “I’m just going to keep my feelings to my family and myself. I’m focused on getting better right now. I can’t dwell on that right now … how everybody else feels. Just trying to get back to the right routine.”

Reporters asked him how he felt after being told he had the virus for a second time. “What the … again?” Jackson said with a smile. “It was crazy. I was heartbroken. I wasn’t looking forward to that at all. Right before camp … not again, not right now.”

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The new NFL season starts on 9 September but many teams have had trouble convincing players to get the vaccine. A hospital in the hometown of Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins cut ties with the quarterback after he said he does not intend to get vaccinated, while Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley said he was “pro choice” and would not receive the jab.

The NFL does not require players to be vaccinated but those who do not are under strict protocols, such as having to wear masks at all times. Teams who cannot play due to a Covid-19 outbreak among their unvaccinated players may also have to forfeit games.

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