‘It is, for me, exactly the same’: Liverpool boss Klopp compares Premier League’s vaccine-hesitant players to ‘drink drivers’

Liverpool's German coach, Jurgen Klopp, says that '99%' of his squad are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and claims that players who refuse the jab are comparable to people who drive while drunk.

Recent reports have indicated that a wave of anti-vax sentiment is being fostered in some top Premier League clubs, with a minority of senior players having subscribed to debunked misinformation regarding the efficacy of the various Covid-19 vaccines. 

A wide-ranging investigation conducted by the Daily Mail found that several conspiracy theories are rife inside a host of Premier League dressing rooms, with some players suggesting that that the vaccine is little more than a government spying tool or that a course of vitamins is a more effective treatment against the virus.

The report added that some younger players are being misinformed by senior players leading to further vaccine hesitancy. That matter is further complicated by an effort from organizers of next year's World Cup in Qatar to allow only vaccinated players into the country – something which could lead to headaches for the likes of England boss Gareth Southgate after it was reported that five of his Euro 2020 squad remain unvaccinated, with three senior players said to be steadfastly refusing the jab.

As far as Klopp is concerned, this might be a problem for other teams but not for Liverpool.

"We have 99% vaccinated. I didn’t have to convince the players – it was more a natural decision from the team," he said ahead of his side hosting the reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, on Sunday.

"I cannot remember really talking to a player in a one-on-one situation and explaining to him why he should because I am not a doctor."

Klopp's declaration of Liverpool's vaccine rate comes after it was also reported that just seven Premier League sides have vaccination rates of more than 50%, and the Liverpool boss said that he can't understand some players' reluctance.

"I explained it for myself as like drink-driving," Klopp said, drawing an analogy.

"We all probably were in a situation where we had a beer or two and thought we still could drive but, [because of] the law, we are not allowed to drive anywhere, so we don’t drive.

"But this law is not there for protecting me when I drink two beers and want to drive: it’s for protecting all the other people because I’m drunk or p*ssed and we accept that as a law.

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"It is, for me, exactly the same; I don’t take the vaccination only to protect me, I take the vaccination to protect all the people around me.

"I don’t understand why that is a limitation of freedom because, if it is, then not being allowed to drink and drive is a limitation of freedom as well.

"I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so about everybody around me. If I get [Covid] and I suffer off it, my fault; if I get it and spread it to someone else, my fault and not their fault."

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Qatar is trying to impose mandatory vaccinations on footballers who take part in the 2022 World Cup – report

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