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Now governing body FIFA makes first clear statement of its kind on the issue
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The girlfriend of England star John Stones has reposted an anti-vaxx message on Instagram as FIFA urged all footballers to get the Covid jab.
Beauty clinic boss Olivia Naylor uploaded a recent post highlighting comments from NBA basketball star Jonathan Isaac, who claimed he'd be protected from the virus by natural immunity.
It is feared the reposting by the England star's partner - who has 45,000 Instagram followers — will dissuade others from having the vaccine.
It was reported over the weekend that the footballers have given a string of 'nonsense' reasons for not having the jab.
One said he was too 'young and fit', another believes it is a tool for government's to spy on people, and others are said to have been pressured against having it by their anti-vaxxer Wags.
It comes as it emerged five Three Lions players, have refused to have the Covid jab - including three who helped the team reach the Euro 2020 final. It is currently not known whether Manchester City defender Stones is one of those.
FIFA has now made the first clear statement of its kind on the issue, with a spokesman saying: 'We encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and endorse the World Health Organization's position: safe, fair, and equitable access is critical in all countries. Players should not receive priority access to vaccines.'
On the post shared by Naylor, Isaac wrote: 'I understand the vaccine would help if you catch Covid and you'll be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having Covid in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and my fitness level, it's not necessarily a fear of mine taking the vaccine.
He added: 'It does open me up to the albeit rare chance but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself. I don't think being unvaccinated means infected or being vaccinated means uninfected. You can still catch Covid with or without having the vaccine.'
Naylor responded by writing: 'Perfectly spoken'.
Sportsmail revealed last week that there is widespread opposition to vaccines among Premier League footballers, with almost two-thirds of top-flight players yet to be fully jabbed, and many refusing altogether.
Meanwhile, club officials are complaining that dressing rooms have been 'polluted' by senior players spreading conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates, infertility and the power of vitamins.
The Three Lions travel to Andorra on Friday and San Marino for World Cup qualifiers next month, but neither of these countries are on the red list.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp are among the high profile figures who have spoken of the importance of getting inoculated in recent days.
However, Gareth Southgate explained yesterday how managers aren't allowed to know which players have been jabbed due to medical privacy.
'Our medical team would know but even I wouldn't — they wouldn't tell me who is and who isn't,' he said.
There are fears posts by Olivia Naylor (pictured) to 45,000 Instagram followers will dissuade others from having the vaccine
It is not known whether Manchester City defender Stones (pictured) is one of the players who has refused the jab
His girlfriend applauded a recent post (pictured) highlighting comments from basketball star Jonathan Isaacs, who claimed he'd be protected from the virus by natural immunity
England's players pose for a team photo before the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying group A match between England and Montenegro at Wembley
Ex-footballer and former FA chief Mark Palios also spoke on the matter this morning.
He told GMB: 'I'm not a medical guy but I concur with the view that the evidence seems to support that vaccinations help in controlling the situation.
'I know there's been the question of whether or not they can have a sporting 'get out of jail free card' in as much as you can put people in a bubble in a competition like a UEFA final.
'But when you're talking day to day in the EFL, it's very difficult because those players are then going back out into the community.
'What we've done here is try to persuade players and advise players as regards the efficacy of taking the vaccine.
'Players have looked at it from the extent to which they would be restricted in doing what they want to do and gradually, gradually the numbers have increased, but I have to say it does appear that's due to the fact they will feel their lives are being restricted in terms of what they do.'
He was joined on the show by football journalist Alison Bender, after it was revealed just 35% of players have taken up the vaccine.
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Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10056403/England-players-refusing-Covid-vaccines-face-mounting-pressure-jab-FIFA-issues-statement.html1963