Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is at a loss to explain why there is a reluctance among Premier League players to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
A report this week suggested only seven of the 20 Premier League clubs have succeeded in fully vaccinating 50 per cent or more of their squads, with the overall average said to be approximately one-third of all players.
Liverpool have out-performed most of their rivals on that front with Klopp revealing their vaccination rate is 99 per cent.
And he took a swipe at those who are refusing to get themselves jabbed and anti-vaccine supporters propagating conspiracy theories or those who believe the myths.
“Where did I get the knowledge from that I think it makes sense to get the vaccination? I called doctors who I’ve known for years,” he said.
“When you don’t know about anything you call a specialist. I’m a bit naive, but I don’t understand why we are not allowed to offer advice.
“I explain it a little bit like drink-driving. We were all probably in a situation where we had a beer or two and thought ‘I can drive’.
“But this law is not there for protecting me, it is there for protecting all the other people because I am p****d and want to drive a car. And we accept that as a law.
“We all know alcohol is bad for our body, but we still drink it. With the vaccination, we assume it is not good for our body.
“Most specialists tell us the vaccination is the solution for the situation in this moment.”
Klopp said he believed it was his personal responsibility to consider the lives of others.
“I don’t take the vaccination only to protect me, I take the vaccination to protect all the people around me,” he added.
“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 – but we accept that.
“We are not allowed to ask people if they are vaccinated but I am allowed to ask a taxi driver ‘Are you drunk?’. If he says ‘I don’t have to tell you’ then ‘OK then, I don’t drive with you, no problem’.
“I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so for everyone else around me.
“If I get it and suffer – my fault. If I get it and spread it around to everyone else – my fault and not their fault.”
The Premier League is understood to be looking at how best they can ‘reward’ those clubs whose squads are most Covid-compliant and who have opted to be vaccinated.
That is likely to take the form of a loosening of restrictions of some of the Covid protocols they have been working under since the start of the pandemic.
Klopp said it was never an issue for his players, adding: “I think we can say we have 99 per cent vaccinated. I didn’t have to convince the players, it was more a natural decision from the team.
“I can’t remember really talking to a player and convincing him why he should because I’m not a doctor.
“What I would give, like in a lot of other situations, would be my advice – but it was not necessary.”