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100% of Buffalo Sabres players are vaccinated. Here's how the team got there

Buffalo Sabres
Posted at 3:55 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 17:15:56-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams spoke to the media Thursday and announced the team has a 100% COVID-19 vaccination rate.

According to an article on from September 16, the NHL expects only a few players throughout the whole league will not be fully vaccinated by the start of the regular season on October 12.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is quoted in the article saying less than 15 players across the whole league will not be fully vaccinated by the opening day of the regular season and up to 25 teams should have a 100% vaccination rate.

According to a report from ESPN's Emily Kaplan, the NHL's 2021-22 health and safety protocols include significant restrictions for unvaccinated players. That includes suspensions for being "unable to participate in club activities," and they will not be paid for each day they miss. In situations that require vaccination to travel with the team, such as a road trip to play in Canada, unvaccinated players could face loss of pay and suspension for being unable to participate.

You can find the NHL's full health and safety protocols here.

Here is how other major sports leagues compare to the NHL's COVID-19 vaccination rate:

NFL - According to on September 3 following roster cuts, the league was at a 93% vaccination rate. Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane spoke to reporters in August, before rosters were cut from 90 to 53, and said the team had a vaccination rate of about 80%.

NBA - According to NBC Sports on July 20, National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said the league was at a 90% vaccination rate.

WNBA - According to ESPN on June 28, the WNBA was at a 99% vaccination rate.

MLB - According to ESPN on June 4, the MLB had two-thirds of its 30 teams with a vaccination rate of at least 85%.

According to the CDC as of September 22:

  • 74.9% of the U.S. population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
  • 64.3% of the U.S. population age 12 and older is fully vaccinated.