Jim Harbaugh: Majority of Michigan football players, entire staff have been vaccinated

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Indianapolis — Michigan’s football team is nearly fully vaccinated.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told The Detroit News before his session at Big Ten Media Days that the majority of his players are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Jim Harbaugh

“High 90s” Harbaugh said, went asked for a percentage of players vaccinated.

Harbaugh said his entire staff has been vaccinated.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said during his remarks at media days that the conference will have a “decentralized” system for handling COVID issues and that schools, not the conference, will set protocols. Schools must submit their plans in early August.

According to a two-page document sent in an email to athletes and their parents with a subject line, “Mandatory COVID Vaccine Police for Athletics” on June 17 and obtained last month by The Detroit News, Michigan athletes are required to take the COVID-19 vaccine and must be fully vaccinated by the beginning of practices — no later than Aug. 1 — for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. There are exceptions for religious or medical reasons.

A Michigan spokesman said this week that more than 90% of all athletes have been vaccinated.

All coaches and staff in close contact with athletes and coaches during practices and games were to have received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the J&J vaccine no later than July 1.

The COVID-19 pandemic closed campuses across the country in mid-March 2020. The Big Ten initially postponed all fall sports last year in August, then opted to hold a nine-game, conference-only football season while other fall, winter and spring teams played limited schedules. Athletes were tested frequently, some every day, for the virus during the seasons. Michigan athletics had a two-week pause because of COVID-19 in January after a recommendation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan announced April 23 that the vaccine would be required for those living in university housing. Those students must provide proof of vaccination by July 15. Earlier this month, UM announced those vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer are required to wear face masks or socially distance on campus.

As of July 20, the university reports 76% of Michigan students planning to attend classes on campus this fall are confirmed to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Michigan football team went 2-4 last season and canceled the final three games because of a COVID-19 outbreak.


Twitter: @chengelis