The Atlanta Falcons have become the first team to reach a 100% COVID-19 vaccination rate.
Reaching a 100% vaccination rate is a step up for the Falcons after dealing with multiple COVID-19 outbreaks. Last season, the Falcons reportedly dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak after interacting with the Tennessee Titans. More recently, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said the Falcons dealt with an outbreak during the offseason, but head coach Arthur Smith refuted those claims.
"They are very subjective terms, right? So, you guys are out here at practice every day," Smith told reporters.
"We went through an outbreak last year when I was in Tennessee. [It was a] completely different time and there weren't vaccinations. We were in a completely different environment right now. I'm not going to go into any comments, but it's pretty obvious, you guys come out here every day for work. You would know."
COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all NFL coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts. Players are not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but those who do not receive the vaccine will be subject to stricter health protocols.
Despite high-profile detractors like Lamar Jackson and DeAndre Hopkins, the majority of NFL players and staff members have taken steps to be vaccinated. ESPN reports that all 32 NFL teams have achieved a vaccination rate of at least 75%. Moreover, 10 NFL teams have a vaccination rate of approximately 90% and 15 NFL teams have achieved a vaccination rate of 95% or higher. Overall, 91.7% of players have received at least one dose of the vaccine.