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Toronto Blue Jays trade deadline acquisition Whit Merrifield has gotten the COVID-19 vaccine

Whit Merrifield has received his COVID-19 vaccination and will be able to follow the Toronto Blue Jays back home on August 12th.

Merrifield, 33, was acquired at the MLB trade deadline from the Kansas City Royals, but had been unvaccinated previously. For anyone to enter either Canada or the United States from other countries, it’s mandatory for them to have received either two doses of the mRNA vaccine, or the Johnson and Johnson single shot vaccine.

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When the Royals had visted Toronto earlier in the year, Merrifield remained in Kansas City as he had been unvaccinated. At the time, he said he could consider getting vaccinated to travel to Canada.

On Thursday, Merrifield said he could’ve handled those comments better and that he’s excited to play meaningful baseball late in the season.

Because the Blue Jays provide healthcare to their players by way of team doctors, they are considered healthcare providers under HIPAA laws. Due to that, player consent is required to disclose an individual’s medical information as relevant to team status. This is why after the trade deadline, GM Ross Atkins dodged questions regarding Merrifield’s vaccination status.

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Nonetheless, Merrifield will make his debut Thursday batting eighth in the order, while righty relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop will join the club in the bullpen.

In coinciding moves, the Jays have optioned C Zack Collins, lefty reliever Matt Gage and right reliever Matt Peacock to the Triple-A Bisons.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]


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