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MLB Managers, Coaches Required to Be Up to Date on COVID-19 Vaccines for 2022 Season

Erin WalshMarch 15, 2022

Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a memo sent to teams on Saturday, Major League Baseball announced it is requiring managers, coaches and other on-field staff to be "up to date" with their COVID-19 vaccines for the 2022 season, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal

MLB had the same requirement for the 2021 postseason. 

The memo also stated that any staff member who is not up to date and has not been granted an exemption would not have access to restricted areas and have in-person contact with players, Rosenthal added.

It's unclear how many coaches and staff members remain unvaccinated. The league said in its memo it was implementing the policy to protect the players and get through a shortened spring training without interruption following the lockout. However, there has yet to be a decision whether this policy will continue for the regular season.

Several regular-season games had to be postponed during the 2021 season due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Any such outbreak during a short spring training period would be detrimental to all clubs involved. 

An anonymous coach told Rosenthal that some staff members aren't happy about the league's decision. Some feel that if players aren't vaccinated, then staff members shouldn't have to be either.

"There are some that are not happy about the mandated booster. They feel if the players don't have to, why us? I don't know if anyone is unvaccinated but I do know that people are not boosted yet and have until this week to do so, because the memo wasn't seen by us until (Sunday). I can tell you MANY coaches on all staffs are not happy."

The coach added that he's not against vaccines, saying, "I just don't like people saying if you don't do this, you're fired … MLB put this on us right after the lockout. Calculated. They could've told us months ago."

MLB players aren't required to be vaccinated because the league would need permission from the union to enforce a policy. The MLBPA does not require the vaccine.

MLB isn't the only league that has mandated the vaccine for coaches and staffers. The NBA and NFL have similar policies. Those leagues also do not require players to be vaccinated because they would need the consent of their respective players associations. 

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