The government has given priority to the Red Devils vaccine, but it was reported this morning that only half of the team will receive a vaccine for the European Championship before they start their match against Russia on June 12, within ten days. Because they were already injured, or for personal reasons, that’s how it seemed. Some fear for their performance due to the side effects of the vaccine.
Martinez responded to the uproar during a press conference this afternoon. “This is about nothing. We follow UEFA’s guidelines for our bubble. We have the right people to help us with that. This outta ratio is blown. Our message to the country is clear: ‘Vaccination is important’.”
The national coach confirms that the Red Devils who are not currently vaccinated will get their shot shortly after the European Championship. “All the staff has been vaccinated, the whole group of players will be vaccinated after the European Championship. Some already, and some will be vaccinated immediately after the European Championship. From this remains private. This is a medical decision. Some have already made antibodies, others have not. The majority are already vaccinated. Our Red Devils bubble is safe as it is.”
Dirk Ramakers, head of the vaccinations team, also qualified the letters earlier. A number of Red Devils have already been vaccinated abroad, and some of them have recently passed on to Covid. The latter has antibodies and is preferred to be vaccinated after the tournament. Among those who were not vaccinated, the vast majority were vaccinated themselves upon arrival in our country. Everything happened in close consultation with our experts, including vaccinologist Pierre Van Damme.”
According to Ramakers, only “a player or players” do not want to be vaccinated for the European Championship, “and that is their choice.” “I look at it positively and note that the players – with men like Mertens, Lukaku and Hazard in the lead – just like the federation and the coach are very supportive of vaccination.” Ramaekers also points out that it doesn’t hurt that a number of players are only vaccinated after the European Championship (for the second shot). “Inside the group, the majority is protected. Collective protection is great because these boys will be living in a very isolated environment for the coming weeks. On the field, all participating teams will protect their players as much as possible with vaccination and testing.”