President Joe Biden has joined elected and unelected leaders across the country in pushing for widespread inoculation against the COVID-19 virus in recent months.
Nevertheless, a troubling narrative involving serious “breakthrough” cases among fully vaccinated individuals continues to surface — most recently in reports about Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Dakota Dozier.
“Like 29 guys are getting tested”
According to the Washington Examiner, the 30-year-old player was rushed to an emergency room and hospitalized after contracting COVID-19.
He showed signs of difficulty breathing after falling ill, according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
ESPN noted that the coach addressed the situation on Wednesday, revealing that one of the team’s players recently tested positive for the virus.
Although Zimmer declined to identify the player at the time, the outlet later learned from other sources that it was Dozier. The player has since been placed on the team’s injured reserve list.
“It’s serious stuff, so I don’t know,” Zimmer said of the situation. “Like 29 guys are getting tested because of close contact, including myself. Just do what we do.”
“He had a hard time breathing”
Dozier is said to be in stable condition but remained hospitalized as of the latest update available.
As for whether the hospitalization might have been connected to a vaccine booster shot, the coach replied: “No, it was COVID. I’m not a doctor, but it was COVID pneumonia or something. He had a hard time breathing.”
The Star Tribune reported that Dozier was one of five Vikings players on the reserve list after testing positive for COVID-19.
Per NFL protocols in place this season, fully vaccinated players suspected of coming in close contact with an infected person may skip quarantine provided they are tested daily and abide by the league’s mitigation requirements. Vikings coordinator Andre Patterson signaled the extent of those measures, remarking that it is “a little bit almost like it was last year.”
Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who participates and a Bible study group with teammates including Dozier, said he most recently came into contact with the player prior to Sunday’s game, concluding: “You’re just always praying and hoping he’ll be just fine.”