MLB: 9 teams reach 85% vaccination rate for easing protocols

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Aaron Boone, DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone greets DJ LeMahieu (26) at the dugout steps as LeMahieu scored on a bases-loaded walk during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball says nine teams have had 85% of players, coaches and others with Tier 1 access receive their final dose of the coronavirus vaccine, allowing those clubs to ease some health and safety protocols.

Four of those teams have already begun relaxing some protocols after 85% or more of Tier 1 individuals reached full vaccination, meaning they are at least two weeks removed from their final vaccine dose. Another five teams have surpassed the 85% threshold for vaccine injections within the past two weeks and can ease standards once that waiting period passes

The league also said in a statement Friday that 81% of Tier 1 individuals are considered partially or fully vaccinated.

The statement did not say which teams had cleared the 85% threshold, but the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers are among them. Both clubs have eased protocols, and when they played Friday night, it was the first time this season neither team had to wear facemasks in the dugout.

MLB said it found four new positive tests this week (two major league players, two alternate site players) out of 11,547 tests conducted. So far this season, there have been 43 total positives out of 135,317 tests, a 0.03% positive rate. Twenty teams have had at least one person test positive during monitoring testing.

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