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Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks to his team during the CFP National Championship on Jan. 11, 2021. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Nearly 90% of the University of Alabama's football team has been vaccinated for COVID-19, head coach Nick Saban said at a press conference Wednesday.

Why it matters: The high percentage of vaccinated players on the team stands in contrast to the overall low vaccination rates in Alabama, where only 42.4% of people over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times.

  • On Monday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said six of the 14 football teams in the conference had reached the 80% COVID-19 vaccination threshold.

What they're saying: "I think there are a couple of things to consider: first of all, you have a personal decision, which comes down to risk. Risk of COVID, the relative risk of the vaccine," Saban said of the players' decision to be vaccinated.

  • "On the other hand, you also have a competitive decision to make because you're going to be a part of a team," he added, citing NC State's forfeiting of the College World Series semifinals due to a COVID outbreak on the team.

Go deeper ... Axios-Ipsos poll: Convincing the unvaccinated

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over — Cuba becomes first country to begin mass vaccination of children.
  2. Health: Chicago has highest COVID-19 case rates in city worker neighborhoods — International Mission Board to require COVID vaccine for missionaries.
  3. Politics: Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers — Footage shows new details after NYC restaurant incident over proof of vaccination.
  4. Education: More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines — Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates —Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said Monday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, and that his vaccination against the virus prevented a more severe infection.

What they're saying: "Today, I tested positive for COVID-19," Ryan wrote on Twitter. "While I’m currently experiencing mild symptoms, I’m grateful to have the protection of a safe and effective vaccine — and I know without it, this illness could be much, much worse."

  • "What we have learned over the last year and a half is that we are in this together, and I urge all Ohioans to help us crush this pandemic by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated so that we can get back to normal."
14 hours ago - Health

Biden to get booster shot on camera

Photo: Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will receive his COVID booster shot on camera once it's fully approved for Americans ages 65 and older, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: A federal advisory panel unanimously voted last week to recommend that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorize a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine for people over the age of 65 and those at higher risk of infection.