Javy Báez has received his first COVID-19 shot. He and his family decided together to get the vaccine, he said Monday. He will still have to receive a second dose to be fully vaccinated.
“I think a lot of people should try it,” the Cubs’ star shortstop said. “And obviously, we want the best for everybody.”
Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said he’d encourage players to get the vaccine, but he, Báez and Cubs manager David Ross all emphasized that it’s a personal choice.
“Everybody has different thoughts and feelings on it,” Ross said Monday. “We're trying to give as much education as we can.”
Doctors have already spoken with members of the major league squad to that end, according to Ross. The team doctor recently went to the South Bend alternate site for more informational meetings and to set up appointments for those who want the vaccine.
“We also want to be smart about when guys get vaccinated,” Ross said, “just in case there's any kind of reaction.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people experience side effects like fatigue, headache, muscle pains and fever from their immune response to the vaccine. For those receiving one of the two-dose vaccines, side effects after the second shot may be more intense than after the first.
Staggering vaccine appointments for players could help the team avoid multiple absences at a time for side effects. Ross gave the example of starting pitchers getting their shots after starts.
Major League Baseball and the players association informed teams that some health and safety protocols would be relaxed for clubs with 85 percent of Tier 1 individuals vaccinated.
The Cubs, who made it through last season without a major league player testing positive for COVID-19, are still working toward that threshold.
“Some guys have gotten it and are well on their way,” Ross said, “and some guys are still trying to gather the information and (their) thoughts and make the decision for themselves.”
Some teams, including the Angels and Cardinals, say they have already reached the 85 percent mark.