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INDIANAPOLIS — The University of Wisconsin football team is over 85% vaccinated from COVID-19, according to coach Paul Chryst.

Speaking with local reporters Friday at the Big Ten Conference football media days, Chryst said there was an instant surge of vaccination among his players once shots were available, and their total has climbed over 85% over the summer.

“We have something now that we didn’t have (last year),” Chryst said. “We’re part of something bigger, which is the university and how their approach is going to be and then we’ll be in line with it.

“I think you’re seeing it now in the NFL. There’s a benefit to having it from just the logistics of all the day-to-day and the week-to-week will be. I think our guys get that, too.”

Chryst wasn’t sure of the exact vaccination rate of his players, but knew it was over 85%.

NFL guidelines are more lax for teams above the 85% threshold, but neither college football nor the Big Ten have universal protocols for teams above or below certain vaccination rates.

“I believe each person has the right and the ability to make the best choice for them,” Chryst said. “This is an interesting one because there’s personal choices that really probably don’t affect another person, and then there’s personal choice when you’re part of a team … that impact things.”

Chryst said when he’s had players hesitant to get vaccinated, he’s attempted to find out why and help them gather information to make their choice.

UW had three games canceled last season due to COVID-19, two from a team outbreak early in the season and another stemming from Minnesota’s late-season outbreak. Chryst was among the 32 people in the program to catch the virus amid the outbreak.

The Badgers open training camp on Aug. 6 and have their first game against Penn State on Sept. 4 at Camp Randall Stadium.


This article originally ran on madison.com.

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