Geelong Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield has urged his peers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as possible after throwing his support behind the idea of making it compulsory for players.
The AFL is unlikely to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory, with CEO Gillon McLachlan last week admitting that any such plan was "complicated" to enforce.
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The AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) has also indicated some resistance to the idea but its president is fully behind a concerted push to encourage fellow players to get their jabs.
Dangerfield revealed that his family have been vaccinated and he plans to follow suit as soon as the season is over.
The veteran star's Cats play the Melbourne Demons in Friday night's first preliminary final, with a shot at a grand final berth on the line.
Dangerfield and GWS captain Stephen Coniglio last month took part in a campaign to boost vaccination rates and he's urged fellow players to heed to advice of medical professionals.
"I think it's important for all people to be vaccinated," Dangerfield said on Thursday.
"With regard to it being mandatory, that's something that will be decided on by the governments, health authorities and others.
"It's something I'm really strong on.
"I'm certainly not sitting on the fence with regards to doing your due diligence around your research but listen to the health authorities and it's pretty clear cut.
"My wife's vaccinated, my parents are and I'll be doing the same as soon as our season finishes up."
A growing list of high-profile players have already joined the vaccine push, with more to follow once the finals series is over.
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Several clubs, including West Coast, St Kilda and Richmond, have published photos and stories via social media of players rolling up their sleeves.
Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith's already famous goal celebration during his side's thrilling semi-final win against the Brisbane Lions drew inspiration in the vaccination push.
Alongside an image of his reaction to the crucial goal, Smith posted the caption "get vaxxed cousin" with an ice cube emoji.
Dangerfield said receiving the jab had been spoken about at Geelong by players and staff.
"It's something we're (the Cats) strong on and it's an important part of us going forward as a community and a collective nation to get back to as close to normal as we possibly can and listen to the health experts," he said.
The AFL is hopeful full crowds will return across the country at some point next year after two seasons of ongoing restrictions, but recognises high vaccination rates will be crucial for that to happen.
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