‘I Think it’s a Personal Choice’: Red Sox Pitcher to Miss Toronto Series Over Canada’s Vaccine Mandate

Multiple Boston Red Sox players will not be active for an upcoming away series against the Toronto Blue Jays. In order to enter the country, Canada requires at least two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Tanner Houck, a right-handed pitcher who will be one of “multiple” inactive Red Sox players, said the vaccine should be a “personal choice” in a statement to the Boston Globe.

“I think it’s a personal choice for everyone whether they get it or not,” Houck told the Boston Globe before his club’s 8-1 win against the Twins. “So, that’s all I really got to say on it.”

“We knew it beforehand, so we’ll plan accordingly,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said when asked about the vaccine mandate. Cora did not specify which players would be inactive for the Toronto series later, though he said there were “multiple.”

Houck opted to share his vaccination when the Boston Globe asked about the mandate and his thoughts on the matter, confirming he will be among the inactive players.

Several MLB players have opted not to play in Toronto this season. Over this past weekend’s series, the Oakland Athletics were without three unvaccinated players.

The Red Sox pitcher was disappointed that the vaccine mandate would cost him his start. “I’m definitely bummed that I won’t be able to make that start,” Houck said. “But the starts that I am able to make, I plan on giving 100 percent for this team, if not more so. Anything I can do for this team to help them win, I’ll do it.”

Houck has made two starts since the new season began, including a scoreless outing against the Minnesota Twins where he went 5⅔ innings.

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