PHILADELPHIA — Class is in session for Mets players, whom the organization badly wants to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Mets added an extra meeting to their Tuesday agenda: a vaccine education session with independent medical experts. On Thursday, after their home opener against the Marlins, they can get the first of their two doses — if they want.
"We want to educate everyone," said manager Luis Rojas, who noted that he will be among those participating Thursday. "We know it’s a voluntary decision. I know there’s been some hesitation."
That hesitation, including Michael Conforto calling vaccination a "personal choice," spurred the Mets to give players the extra education and encouragement, team president Sandy Alderson said.
"We want to encourage not only our players but everyone to be vaccinated," Alderson, who was vaccinated weeks ago, said. "We very definitely think it's important that we get as many of our players vaccinated as possible, and where there's concern to address those concerns.
"That’s in the best interest of the team, it’s in the best interest of their families, it’s in the best interest of those who work with the players. I hope that, in addition to their own personal medical considerations, that they take all of those things into consideration as well."
Rojas said that, in the event of significant interest from players, he did not know if the Mets would administer the vaccine in phases to protect against individuals potentially being unavailable due to side effects. The Mets are off Friday.
The Mets played Kevin Pillar — in center and at the leadoff spot — over Dominic Smith because they liked his chances against a lefthanded starter (Matt Moore), Rojas said . . . Jacob deGrom will start on normal rest on Saturday, and Marcus Stroman will do the same Sunday. So No. 5 starter Joey Lucchesi gets skipped for the time being . . . The Mets have not picked up the 2022 option on Rojas’ contract, Alderson said. This is the last guaranteed season on Rojas’ deal.
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