Yankees manager Boone to encourage players, staff to get vaccinated

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MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

(Reuters) - New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he had received a COVID-19 vaccine last week and would encourage his players and staff to follow suit once they are eligible.

New York on Monday lowered their eligibility age for coronavirus vaccines to 50, having previously restricted eligibility to residents who were at least 60-years-old, had pre-existing health conditions or are essential workers.

"I'll definitely encourage our guys to get it," said Boone, who had open heart surgery in 2009 and took a break from spring training to have a pacemaker implanted this month.

"There's talk of more of us being able to get it.

"So hopefully it's something that will be available to us en masse and I'll definitely encourage that."

However, Boone said he would not use his platform as manager to pressure players into getting vaccinated.

"I don't know if I'd necessarily take that position. I think it's an individual decision," he said. "Certainly, when I talk to our guys, I'll encourage it. But I don't feel like it's my place to tell somebody."

Major League Baseball's Opening Day is set for April 1, with the Yankees beginning their campaign against Toronto Blue Jays.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)