The Phillies are among the few Major League Baseball teams that haven’t reached an 85 percent threshold of vaccinated personnel that triggers fewer health protocols.
The clubhouse’s contentious relationship with the vaccine is driven by a handful of influential players who have voiced opposition to it. Some of them have already contracted COVID-19 and consider the antibodies as enough protection, although the CDC recommends people who’ve had the virus still be vaccinated. Other Phillies players have questioned whether injuries they’ve suffered were a result of vaccine side effects.
When [one player] experienced neck pain, he attributed it to a Johnson & Johnson vaccine he received in the first week of the season. His body, he said, shut down and that forced him to compensate during an outing. [Another] has told teammates he thought the vaccine led to his pseudogout diagnosis. When asked last month if he had a theory about what caused his elbow issues, [he] said: “I have no clue. So, I’m not sure. Let’s go with that. Because if I start saying things, it’s going to turn into a whole thing.” [A third player] alluded to the vaccine when he injured his oblique in April.