NHL is working on vaccine inequality between the United States and Canada

His smile, Jacob Torva’s eyes, covered in a light blue surgical mask, shone as the needle entered his left arm.

The New York Rangers have given players, coaches and staff a holiday this week to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We are very lucky to have the vaccine,” Torva said.

NHL is in a more difficult situation than the other three major North American professional sports leagues, as seven of the 31 teams are based in Canada as vaccinations are increasing in the U.S. at more than 3 million daily. It is in. The NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball are mitigating the viral protocol when a certain percentage of each team is fully vaccinated, but the world’s top hockey leagues face a serious outbreak with the Vancouver Canucks. And the boundary.


“It all comes down to government guidelines, which are outside our control,” said US-born Winnipeg Jets goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyk. “You definitely see the United States vaccinated well, and it’s so good, so great, and it would be great to see it in Canada, but I do all the logistics of it I dont know.”

Canada, like many other countries, has been delayed in vaccination because it was incapable of producing vaccines and had to rely on its global supply chain. While it is expected that 45 million doses will be available in 38 million countries by July, cases in Canada are on the rise and NHL is not immune.

Canucks reported that 21 players and 4 staff members tested positive for the virus and the other was believed to be closely related. The team’s doctor, Jim Bobard, called the outbreak “a clear reminder of how quickly the virus can spread, even among healthy young athletes, and its serious consequences.” ..


The NHL has evaded the US-Canada border by limiting the 56-game season to split play only, with seven Canadian teams facing each other.

And because of its division, hockey reflects the status of the virus evolving in the United States and Canada. From January 13th to March 31st, Canadian team players accounted for only 103 of the 1,361 appearances on the NHL COVID protocol list, and on February 12th, the season’s highest 59 players Only one person.

Since April 1st, Canadian team players have accounted for 115 out of 135, including 23 out of 25 on Wednesday.

As of Thursday, about one-third of the general population of the United States has been vaccinated at least once and 19.4% have been fully vaccinated. In contrast, in Canada, 11.91% are vaccinated once and 1.76% are fully vaccinated.

Swedish-born Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund said, “There are two different countries, different roles and different situations. There is nothing we can do about it, so we have to wait for our turn.”


The Associated Press asked all 31 NHL teams about the number of partially or fully vaccinated players, coaches and staff and whether any players refused the vaccine, but specific details were provided. did not. In the response, Tampa Bay Lightning said some players and staff had been vaccinated, Rangers said many were shot, Detroit Red Wings said the majority, and Columbus Blue Jackets had at least the majority of players and coaches. The dose stated that one was received.

The league is “watched, but the vaccination process is team-by-team and market-by-market,” said Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL. The Players Association, along with the league, sends notes to members to answer questions about their education and vaccination.

The NFL, NBA, and MLB are now in the U.S. with U.S. President Joe Biden setting a deadline of April 19 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and opening the vaccine to anyone over the age of 16. Alleviate masking and other protocols based on specific levels of personnel who are fully vaccinated, along with all teams playing in the. Last week, a note was sent to players and teams informing them to adhere to the protocol, even if they were fully vaccinated.


George Rutherford, a professor of epidemiology and infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, believes that incentives can help convince people to get vaccinated, but if it’s an unequal area. Added that it is useless.

“This is a matter of equity, as some people, like all over Canada, do not have access to vaccines, which is a problem,” Rutherford said.

Edmonton coach Dave Tippett, who has not yet been vaccinated, reiterated this week the importance of team doctors adhering to the protocol, especially for outbreaks in Vancouver.

“We’ve been worried since the beginning of the year,” Tippet said. “We want to try to get rid of the virus as much as possible, so we want to be aware that other teams are passing the virus and try to stay away from it as much as possible.”

Although not without concerns among the 24 US teams, as in Detroit, where cases are skyrocketing, high levels of vaccination between players and staff provide some comfort. Citing a recent recovery from COVID-19, while Red Wings forward Darren Helm is still standing on the fence, Jeff Blashill took his shot, is a vaccination advocate and around the league. Many people have called out to encourage it.


“The more people who can get the vaccine, the more likely we are to lead a near-normal life for everyone,” says Brasle.

Carolina coach Rod Brindamuru called it a sign of progress as he passed through mass vaccination sites outside the arena every day on his way to work. Born in Canada, Brind’Amour appreciates taking his shots, knows that the situation is not the same as his hometown, and wants the best.

“It’s a little late,” he said. “I hope we can get it to everyone as soon as possible.”


Contributed by AP Hockey Writer John Wowlow, AP Professional Basketball Writer Brian Mahony, and AP Reporter Rob Gillies.


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Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

NHL is working on vaccine inequality between the United States and Canada

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