Deni Varnhagen won’t get Covid-19 vaccine: Adelaide Crows, AFLW news

A two-time premiership winner with the Adelaide Crows has been identified as the first known AFLW star who is resisting getting vaccinated.

AFLW CEO Nicole Livingstone has reacted to news two-time Adelaide Crows premiership winner Deni Varnhagen is reportedly the first known player in the league to resist being vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Advertiser reports exclusively Varnhagen has told the club she hasn’t yet decided to receive the jab. She has not had a single dose of any available vaccine and is not booked in to receive one.

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There is no mandate for AFL or AFLW players in South Australia to be vaccinated.

The story is different in Victoria, where professional footy stars are classified as “authorised workers” and must have received their first jab by October 15 to continue working on site in the state, and be fully vaccinated by November 26 to return to pre-season training.

The Advertiser reports Varnhagen is the only member of the Crows’ AFLW squad not to have received at least one vaccine dose.

Varnhagen reportedly posted a picture of a sign on social media after a rally on Saturday, which said: “Health care hero’s in 2020 … unvaxed unwanted in 2021.” The 28-year-old added the words “no logic” to her post.

Livingston addressed the situation on SEN radio and said the league will continue a dialogue with players who may be hesitant about getting vaccinated.

“We’ve done as much as we can in terms of medical advice with information sessions,” Livingstone told SEN’s Whateley program.

“If a player feels like they need more information, then we’re happy to provide that and have those conversations as well.

“But at the end of the day, we are still living through a global pandemic and if anybody — whether it’s AFL, AFLW or any other sport — feels like playing a sport during a global pandemic is not for them, then I have to respect that as well.

“There’s still a little more time to work through that approach for Deni. I don’t know the intimate details of that, but we’ll support the players as much as we can to make an informed choice.”

Livingstone said what the regulations look like next year, in terms of whether players need to be vaccinated to compete or not, remains up in the air.

“We don’t know what it looks like in January, there could be changes,” Livingstone said.

“We now know there’s some changes going on in Victoria with restrictions. It is a bit of a wait-and-see approach in terms of what the different borders are going to look like and the different state requirements.

“It’s certainly going to make it much easier to be an athlete if you are vaccinated. Again, it’s up to the athletes to make an informed decision.”

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