Cats star Dangerfield backs vaccine push

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The AFL is unlikely to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory but players association president Patrick Dangerfield says receiving the jab is the only way to move forward.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan last week admitted mandating vaccinations was "complicated" and there has been some resistance from the AFLPA.

Dangerfield will be getting vaccinated once Geelong's season ends and has encouraged others to do the same.

The Cats superstar and GWS captain Stephen Coniglio last month took part in a campaign to boost vaccination rates.

"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.

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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