Gareth Southgate has said that some footballers are not vaccinated against Covid-19 because their opinions are influenced by conspiracy theories on social media about the jab.
The England coach was keen to offer a thoughtful take on the matter ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifying game against Andorra, which was given the green light after being questioned for a few hours after a fire at the Estadi Nacional Friday afternoon.
Southgate defended his players’ reluctance to publicly support the jabs, even though they have spoken out on other social issues, and he suggested that one issue preventing more participation is that some are more susceptible to rumors in line.
Vaccination rates vary across the Premier League and Tammy Abraham is the only England player to confirm he has received a double hit. The question remains a sensitive topic around the English camp – Fikayo Tomori and Jesse Lingard argued this week that it was a personal choice – and Southgate, who has dismissed reports that most of his players don’t were still not vaccinated, offered a disturbing glimpse of the mood in the locker room. .
“It’s easy for me as a 50-year-old – the percentages for me, whatever marginal risks of having a vaccine, would be outweighed by the risks of catching the virus,” Southgate said. “Most of the players came home late and had to wait longer, a lot of them have already caught the virus and – that’s my theory – they might feel like they already have antibodies against it. .
“At their age they’re more open to some of these conspiracy theories because they read social media more, maybe they’re more vulnerable to those kinds of views. From what I can see there is a bit of confusion around. And there are several different threads as to why they choose to get bitten or not talk about it publicly.
“I understand why there would be criticism for it. As I have always said, I can’t think of a better way to get through the pandemic than a vaccination program. Nobody invented anything. They found reasons not to get stung, but I didn’t hear them come up with a better solution, otherwise we would all stay where we have been for two years. It is a very complex subject. A very toxic subject and perhaps that is why people are a little more reluctant to speak out. “
Southgate, who believes the vaccine is the only way out of the pandemic, was asked why young footballers believe in conspiracy theories. “I would feel that young people are on a different scale in terms of adoption by older people,” he said. “They seem to be more sensitive to social media posts or to living their lives on social media, where a lot of these theories maybe abound.
“We could just talk to our GP and do it that way. But look, I could be setting here in five years and be wrong. With some of the other issues, it has been made very clear what is right and what is not. I was kind enough to talk about it, but can I say 100% that the vaccination program is safe? Well I couldn’t because I’m not a chemist and I’m not a doctor and I’m not a scientist.
“I imagine we wouldn’t be in the position where we are in the mass immunization program without research having taken place and without governments and doctors being completely sure of it, so I’m comfortable with it. take that risk. But I do recognize that others might feel less comfortable and have some anxiety about it. That’s why it’s a little more complicated and I guess maybe that’s why they would feel less confident to speak out. “
Southgate has been the victim of despicable abuse for appearing in an NHS pro-vaccine video last summer. “If you get messages when you support the program that say ‘You could be in a Nuremberg-type trial in 10 years’ and people are pretty mean with the comments, it makes you think twice before you speak out.
“Because what if you were on the wrong side?” At the moment, I couldn’t be sure I was on the safe side. I am comfortable having had the vaccine. I’m convinced I think it was the right thing to make a video for the NHS. But I also recognize that others might not be so keen to put themselves in this situation.
England, who dominate Group I, will be led by Kieran Trippier in Andorra. Preparations for the match were affected by a fire at the 3,300-seat Estadi Nacional. The television portico on the side of the stadium was engulfed in flames three hours after England trained there.
Sprinklers were used in an attempt to control the blaze before firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames. The photographs showed black marks left on the artificial ground and next to the canoes. “No personal injury was reported, only material damage,” said a spokesperson. “The game will go as planned.