Report: Astros, Nationals introduce mandatory vaccine policy for non-players
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals have become the first Major League Baseball teams to introduce mandatory vaccination policies for all non-playing full-time employees, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel.
"Like many organizations, the Washington Nationals decided to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all full-time staff," the team said in a statement to ESPN. "Employees were notified of this policy on Aug. 12 and had until Aug. 26 to either provide proof of full vaccination, proof of first shot, or apply for an exemption.
"As a company, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep one another safe and felt that mandating vaccines was the absolute right thing to do for our employees and our community."
MLB introduced a rule at the beginning of the 2021 season that guaranteed loosened restrictions when teams reach an 85% vaccination rate among players and coaches. Approximately three-quarters of clubs have met that threshold, according to ESPN.
League office employees are also already subject to a mandatory vaccination policy.