Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager says vaccine is ‘not a limit on freedom’

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp says 99% of Liverpool players are vaccinated

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he does not understand why some people refuse the coronavirus vaccine.

There have been concerns about the rate of vaccination in the Premier League with fewer than half of players jabbed at most clubs.

Klopp says “99%” of his players have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it is “disappointing” at least five members of the England squad are reportedly refusing to be vaccinated.

His comments came after The Sunexternal-link reported five players have not had the jab despite organisers of next year’s Qatar World Cup planning to ban all unvaccinated players.

“I would just appeal to these people, whether they are footballers, whoever it is… that the vaccines are working. Help protect yourself and protect those around you,” Javid told Times Radio.

“They’ve made a conscious choice. It is disappointing, of course it is.

“They are role models in society. People, especially young people, I think will look up to them and they should recognise that and the difference that can make in terms of encouraging others.”

Klopp said he has not had to convince any players to be vaccinated.

The German says he was jabbed to protect not just himself but “all the people around me”.

“I don’t understand why that is a limitation of freedom,” he said. “Because if it is, then not being allowed to drink and drive is a limitation of freedom as well – but we accept that.

“I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so for everyone else around me.

“If I get it and suffer – my fault. If I get it and spread it around to everyone else – my fault and not their fault.”

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This week it was revealed the Premier League is considering whether to “reward” clubs whose coronavirus vaccination rates are high.

In an email to top-flight clubs last week, the Premier League said: “Only seven clubs’ squads are more than 50% fully vaccinated, so we have a way to go.”

On Friday, it was announced that Premier League players will be allowed to travel to red-list nations to represent their countries in this month’s World Cup qualifiers – but only if they are fully vaccinated.

“I think we can say we have 99% vaccinated,” added Klopp. “I didn’t have to convince the players, it was more a natural decision from the team.

“I can’t remember really talking to a player and convincing him why he should because I’m not a doctor.

“What I would give, like in a lot of other situations, would be my advice – but it was not necessary.”

As of 2 October, almost 49 million people in the UK had received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while almost 45 million had received a second – an uptake of 89.9% and 82.5% of over-16s respectively.external-link

However, some people choose not to be vaccinated citing a number of factors, including their lack of confidence in the vaccine, concerns about side-effects, or a fear of needles.

Others – a minority – opt out of vaccination because of their consumption of misinformation and conspiracy theories online, particularly on social media.

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