Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed how his squad has reacted to being offered booster jabs, adding that there are “no two possible answers” for people who are offered the chance to take another vaccine dose.
The UK is currently battling the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with a record 78,610 new cases recorded on Wednesday.
In a bid to stem a ‘tidal wave’ of the disease, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to give a million booster shots to the public on top of the two Covid vaccine jabs they have already been offered.
With plan B already affecting football – fans must now show ‘vaccine passports’ to attend matches – Liverpool coach Klopp was probed for his thoughts on boosters and also revealed that potential new signings will not be discarded based on whether they have had their jabs or not, offering a less emphatic view than Reds club legend Steven Gerrard, who now manages Aston Villa.
Klopp has revealed the uptake of booster jabs within the first-team has been positive
— I'm._A._Believer (@BelieveInKlopp) December 15, 2021
Yes Jurgen! Get vaccinated people ❤️
— Adam Smithy (@AdamJSmithy) December 15, 2021
Gerrard said his staff would “look at everything” when they search for new players during the January transfer window, adding that he was “sure” the issue of whether players being vaccinated will arise.
Ahead of Liverpool’s match against Newcastle, though, Klopp admitted on the same topic: “I didn’t think about it, to be honest. I don’t know.”
“Who knows where we will be, in which situation the world will be, when we start signing players again,” he added. “But it’s not important at the moment.
“The whole thing, the whole vaccination thing, is for me a massive question of solidarity, loyalty and togetherness.
“We all have the chance to help not only ourselves but other people as well by getting vaccinated.”
“The whole vaccination thing for me is a massive question of solidarity, loyalty, and togetherness.”
Jurgen Klopp hopes to receive the booster as soon as possible pic.twitter.com/f8JCK3naTP
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 15, 2021
Spot on and simple. Get vaccinated, it reduces the chance of you catching the virus. If you're not vaccinated and haven't caught the virus, good for you. Getting the vax will only strengthen it further.
Also, that means lesser number of people in hospitals, helps more needy ones
— Nik* (@ranjan_rants) December 15, 2021
Some people have been critical and suspicious of the need for a booster. Johnson has ambitiously said he wants everyone to receive another jab by the end of 2021, and the UK National Health Service says a booster dose “helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine.”
“It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from Covid-19,” it added.
Klopp is unequivocal on the debate. “There are no two possible answers; there is only one answer, so you do it. That’s how I understand it,” he said.
“It’s not only the squad, everyone who is working here at the AXA Training Centre is at least double-vaccinated and will get a booster as soon as possible for him or her.”
This is not the first time that Klopp has been so outspoken on this subject. In October, when he claimed 99 percent of his title-challenging squad were vaccinated, he compared those that hadn’t followed suit to drink-driving.
It falls to Klopp, not for the first time, to apply some brilliantly and simply explained reason & logic to an issue of the moment.
— Brendan May (@bmay) October 2, 2021
Trust me, they’ll get vaccinated 100 times, get boosted all they want and still test positive.. all theses things I don’t understand ♂️
— (@ayokay20) December 15, 2021
“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,” the German said.
“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.”
Three recent Premier League games have been called off due to the spread of Omicron, with a season high of 42 positive tests announced last week.
With five fixtures in 12 days in the packed Christmas and New Year calendar, losing players would be a nightmare for Liverpool and Klopp.
Deep down, though, the 54-year-old might welcome some postponements given his repeated gripes about the heavy scheduling in the past.