BY THEREDNOW STAFF
Gold Coast Titans player Bryce Cartwright has been granted an exemption from getting the NRL’s mandatory flu jab based on medical grounds.
The rugby league star was one of several players who were objecting to the new rule, which was introduced to prevent players from getting doubly sick if they contracted the flu and the coronavirus.
Cartwright and his wife have been vocal advocates of pro-choice when it comes to vaccinations, meaning they aren’t against people get a jab, but want to have the right to decide whether they get it or not.
But interestingly, the second rower says he doesn’t want to get the 2020 flu jab because he had a bad reaction to it one year.
The Gold Coast Titans said in a statement: “Bryce Cartwright provided the Club with medical documentation seeking an exemption from the influenza vaccine protocol.”
“This was subsequently passed on to Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young for review. Dr Young has granted Cartwright an exemption based on medical grounds.
“Cartwright is now eligible to return to training with the playing squad in preparation for the season restart.”
Queensland introduced strict measures in the wake of the coronavirus, including requiring every player and team staff member travelling to the state to be immunised. Players have been warned that they’ll be stood down for the rest of the season if they don’t get the flu shot and Cartwright was standing strong against that move with teammate Brian Kelly.
However, Kelly revealed he has since got the jab after the Titans gave the two players a 48-hour ultimatum.
The warning from the Titans was laid bare in a statement, which said: “[We] have made formal requests to Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly to obtain up-to-date influenza and, as required, pneumococcal vaccinations.
“Doing so will enable each player to meet the requirements of the Queensland State Government’s protocols allowing Queensland-based NRL Clubs to train and play. In turn, this will allow both players to resume training and to play with the Titans when the NRL Telstra Premiership resumes on May 28.”
Fox Sports reports Cartwright and Kelly were among 20 players who have refused to get the flu shot on different grounds.
The NRL had previously allowed the conscientious objection for whatever reason, however the code has since narrowed it to only medical grounds.
Queensland is one of three Australian states that have a No Jab, No Play policy, which bans children from entering childcare unless they’ve been fully vaccinated.