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Roger Goodell: NFL has no plans to vaccinate personnel prior to Super Bowl

Mike Florio and Chris Simms hand out their superlatives for Week 14, including the Buccaneers steering in the right direction ahead of the playoffs, Haason Reddick's huge day with the Cardinals and more.

The NFL has faced periodic questions about its access to COVID-19 testing. The NFL apparently will face no questions about its access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are not planning on any of our personnel being vaccinated in advance of the Super Bowl,” Goodell said Monday in a Super Bowl press event with Tampa media. “That’s obviously being done at higher levels and given priority to healthcare workers and first responders and those that are in the riskiest state. We don’t fall into those categories, so we don’t anticipate that and we’re not planning for that.”

While vaccinations would help the NFL minimize the issues relating to the virus, the current COVID-19 protocols are working, even though some teams have been required to play with less than a full roster of their best players.

As it relates to testing, criticism of the league is misplaced. The NFL created its own testing capacity by paying for it. No public resources have been compromised; if the NFL hadn’t purchased its own tests, those tests wouldn’t exist.

For vaccines, it’s different. There are only so many doses available, and the league can’t pay for its own inventory of vaccine that otherwise wouldn’t exist. So the NFL and its personnel will land in the same categories as the rest of us, with some getting priority and others having to wait.