Typhoid and tetanus vaccination for NFL players

The NFL has decided to require players to have vaccinated for typhoid and tetanus this month.

Exertion testing beginning on Thursday and extending through Dec. 19 will be administered to players prior to each regular-season game, and mandatory booster shots will be completed when teams return from a bye week before the 14 November games.

Typhoid and tetanus can both be spread by mist or droplets from an infected person, and can be harmful in higher concentrations. Symptoms of typhoid include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, irritability, chills, fever and muscle aches. Tetanus, meanwhile, can cause muscle spasms, paralysis, hearing loss, loss of eye sight, seizures and even death. Symptoms are similar, except the only way to prevent tetanus is to get vaccinated.

Typhoid and tetanus shot requirements were previously expanded in 2017 to preseason games, in an effort to reduce exposure among players outside of practice and games. The risk of contracting either disease is low, but NFL player contacts are what enable transmission to the broader population.

The injections required for each player count toward up to 30 practice and/or preseason days of possession. Under the new regimen, players who have missed three consecutive practices or three consecutive preseason or regular-season games, or will miss three straight exhibition contests, will lose their roster exemption and must go on injured reserve.

In a separate statement from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the league indicated teams cannot use reserves of their exemption waiver to limit physical contact during the practice week. Teams are allowed to block 7-on-7 and 10-on-10 hitting after 4 p.m. in order to protect players with potential joint or sports-specific injuries, though not any type of tackle-style contact. This is the first time teams have had to pause contact during the practices during the first four weeks of the season.

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