EVERY Western Bulldogs AFL player has had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine with the Grand Finalists determined to have their squad fully vaccinated before their return for pre-season.
The AFL is yet to officially release its policy on vaccination, and whether it will be mandatory, but two days after losing Saturday's Grand Final the entire Bulldogs AFL squad in Perth rolled up their sleeves.
"We did it on Monday in Perth - it was just an easy way to do it," Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains told SEN radio on Thursday.
"We didn't necessarily mandate it but at the same time didn't have any players who had an issue with it.
"Depending on where they'll be in a number of weeks' time, we'll organise for them to be able to get their second dose so all of our men's playing group will be fully vaccinated prior to the start of pre-season."
The majority of Bulldogs staff and AFLW players are also "either first dose or fully vaccinated", while Whitten Oval hosted a pop-up vaccination hub last weekend.
"It's clearly the biggest issue we all need to confront," Bains said.
"It was startling to see the case numbers in Victoria today, so clearly the route forward is going to have to be getting vaccinations up to a decent level
"From our point of view, the club's stance is to encourage vaccinations."
Bains anticipated vaccination would be the only way for the AFL to regain a sense of normality next season.
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"Clearly there'll be state government policies and requirements as well as other corporate requirements as well," he said.
"From our industry point of view, if airlines make it mandatory, say going into 2022, that obviously puts an interesting spin on it for us, regardless of what policy we may have.
"The AFL itself is working through what that policy might be - they spoke to CEOs and presidents about that in Grand Final week, without there being too much detail as to what that might look like.
"Then it does fall to us in the context of looking at what both the state government and AFL do to make a decision on what we might put in place. But our strong position is to encourage it and we feel that it's the only way out.
"Looking at the examples of sport overseas ... you look at those full houses in North America and Europe for soccer and other professional sports and we're really hopeful that's what it'll look like here with an appropriate level of vaccination."