ARLC chair Peter V’landys makes bizarre Covid-19 vaccine claim

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
V’landys has confused NRL fans. Richard Dobson
Camera IconV’landys has confused NRL fans. Richard Dobson Credit: News Corp Australia

Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V’landys has left NRL fans scratching their heads after claiming that unvaccinated players are “at no more risk” than those who have had two shots of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The NRL announced last week it would not follow the AFL’s lead in mandating vaccines for players, but the league is still working with the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) to develop a policy for handling unvaccinated players.

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The RLPA chief executive Clint Newton told NCA NewsWire last week that while most players had complied with the PA’s recommendation to become vaccinated, a minority remained hesitant to do so at the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Newton said while it remained legal and logistically possible to do so, the RLPA expected NRL clubs would continue to employ unvaccinated players.

On Monday, V’landys echoed Newton’s comments, encouraging clubs not to be deterred from signing up unvaxxed players.

“There is a lot of hysteria that goes on about this issue (but) a vaccinated person can also catch this disease and pass it on, just like an unvaccinated person,” he told News Corp.

“An unvaccinated player is at no more risk than a vaccinated player. The only risk is that he will get very, very sick, while a vaccinated player may not get very sick at all.”

A report released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month indicated those who were unvaccinated were 11 times likelier to die from Covid-19 than their vaccinated peers.

While the RLPA and NRL are calling for compassion from clubs, both bodies concede the employment of unvaccinated players could become untenable if public health orders were to change.

“Of course this might be taken out of our hands by health orders or by airlines, so there will be repercussions for those that don’t choose to be vaccinated, but it’s not our approach as a governing body to mandate it,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said last week.

Originally published as ARLC chair Peter V’landys makes bizarre Covid-19 vaccine claim

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