Dr. Wes Tensel is the club doctor for Rochdale AFC. The club plays in League Two, the fourth tier of the English Football League. Speaking to the BBC this morning, Tensel said that potentially, less than 20 per cent of EFL players have been vaccinated against covid-19.
BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rachel Burden asked Dr. Tensel (pictured) if he had any idea as to the percentage of league players who have been double vaccinated. He replied:
“I’m not going to get into specific numbers. I do have the figures because the EFL have been auditing the players in the league so we’ve had to ask our players who’s been single-jabbed and who’s been double-jabbed. I can tell you it’s very low.”
The presenter asked him was it lower than 50 per cent? He said indeed it was. She (Burden) then asked:
“Less than 20 per cent?”
Dr. Tensel replied:
Tensel then went on to say that social media is having a big influence on players decision not to be jabbed:
“I think, one of the other reasons was social media, the anti-vax stuff that has been bandied about and that does get passed around the changing room. Football changing rooms are different to most other workplaces. The players are all together.
It’s an echo chamber, so if one of the senior players or an influential person has seen something on social media and that’s passed to someone else, they’re not likely to critically appraise where that’s come from and you can end up going down a rabbit hole.
You can spend two hours from one video to another because of the algorithms on social media. The next thing you know you believe that the Earth is flat.”
Rachel Burden then asked the doctor:
“Is there any excuse for this or are you just tearing your hair out?”
The doctor replied:
“No, I mean, everyone has free choice and to be honest if I was to get frustrated with these sorts of things all the time, I’d be very down and down in the dumps. This is their choice and I can give them the advice, the advice is out there. It’s on the NHS website. There’s only so much I can do.”
Tensel went on to say that he was there for the players if they wanted to ask him about something they’d seen on social media. He said that he would be able to provide alternative information to educate them.