GM: Bears’ vaccination rate around 85%, climbing

The Bears feel confident about the vaccination rate among their players, general manager Ryan Pace said Tuesday as veterans reported for training camp at Halas Hall.

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Chicago Bears Training Camp

Bears GM Ryan Pace watches practice in September.

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Bears feel confident about the vaccination rate among their players, general manager Ryan Pace said Tuesday as veterans reported for training camp at Halas Hall.

Pace said his team was around the 85% mark. That would put the Bears on par with many around the league. NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said Friday that 80% of players league-wide had received at least one shot. At the time, he said, nine teams had at least 90% of their players vaccinated and five had less than 70%. Those numbers were expected to climb when teams reported to camp this week.

Coach Matt Nagy said the Bears tried to “encourage and educate” their players about the vaccine.

“If they understand the why part, then it’s their choice,” he said. “It’s their opinion. As we all see, everyone has different opinions on what they want to do. If we just tell them, ‘Hey, listen, for these different reasons, it can be a lot more convenient in the football world and for these reasons it can be good for you health-wise,’ and then they’ve gotta make their decision.”

Players who refuse the vaccine will have extra responsibilities this season. They must get tested every day and will be fined by the NFL if they miss a day. They must wear a mask indoors and will be fined if they don’t. When teams travel, unvaccinated players won’t be able to leave the hotel except to play in a game.

Vaccinated players do not have to be tested daily or wear a mask inside.

“So it is a little, quote-unquote, easier for you if you are vaccinated,” Nagy said.

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