Alabama Is One Player Away From 100% Vaccination
The 2021 Alabama Crimson Tide has yet to play a game on the field but the program is already dominating off the field. Nick Saban, in an interview with Mark Schlabach of ESPN, revealed on Wednesday that his program is one player short of 100% vaccination.
"All but one of our guys has been vaccinated, but it could still be an issue. They say if 90% [of your team] is vaccinated, you're OK, but who knows? At least if you're vaccinated you don't have to quarantine guys," said Saban.
At SEC Media Days 2021 SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey declared it was up to the programs to maintain a roster ready to playout the schedule as it stands.
"That means your team needs to be healthy to compete," Sankey said. "If not, that game won't be rescheduled. And thus, to dispose of the game, the forfeit word comes up at this point."
The Crimson Tide is above the SEC's 85% vaccination threshold to avoid strict COVID-19 protocol but getting to 100% vaccination is important to ensure Alabama doesn't have to forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
SEC West rival Ole Miss was the first SEC program to reach 100% vaccination. Former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Rebels head coach Lane Kifin praised his program's buy-in and leadership in a state where vaccination numbers are low.
“We did not make anyone do anything,” Kiffin said. “Our coaches and our entire staff did it awhile back, so that our players knew how important it was. We weren’t going to tell them, advise them what’s the best thing to do, if we didn’t do it ourselves.”
Nick Saban urged everyone to get vaccinated during the spring with a strong message.
“College football fans and players both want full stadiums this fall," Saban said. "Let's make sure we can safely make this happen by getting vaccinated. Please get your COVID-19 vaccine. We want Bryant-Denny Stadium loud again this season. Roll Tide.”