One day after most of the players on the Nationals’ roster received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for a pause in distribution of the vaccine due to six reported cases of blood clots among recipients nationwide.
“We’re in contacts with doctors, our own physicians, our trainers,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said on a Zoom call Tuesday. “We gotta just moderate the guys and make sure that they’re feeling OK. As of right now, they feel fine. We got that news yesterday after everybody got their shots and some of the players were a little bit concerned but all in all, the doctors [are] gonna monitor it and they’ll keep us posted on what’s going on.”
According to the New York Times, nearly seven million people in the U.S. have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All six of the affected individuals were women between 18 and 48 years old. One of the patients died as a result of the blood clot while another is in critical condition.
Speaking before Washington’s game Monday, Martinez declined to give an exact number of how many players had received the vaccine but said “most” of them agreed to the injection. He was unsure whether the club reached the 85% threshold for MLB to loosen some of its COVID protocols. The skipper already received his first shot of another COVID vaccine and plans to get his second dose once the team returns from its road trip.
Washington has already dealt with a coronavirus outbreak in its clubhouse this season. The Nationals’ first four games of the year were postponed while the virus was contained. Ultimately, four players tested positive and another nine people (seven players and two staff members) were deemed close contacts.
Eight of the nine players affected have since returned to the dugout. The lone remaining player, starting pitcher Jon Lester, is at the team’s alternate training site in Fredericksburg ramping his arm back up.