Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s Prevea Health end partnership after COVID-19 vaccine controversy

Sports

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field after the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(KXAN) — Wisconsin-based health care organization Prevea Health announced Saturday that its partnership with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has ended.

The announcement comes after Rodgers, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, tested positive for the virus on Friday – months after telling reporters “Yeah, I’ve been immunized”, which many now view as a purposely unclear word choice. Rodgers’ positive test also called into question decisions he and the NFL made, as the QB was allowed to proceed with certain operations — like giving interviews without a face mask — as if he were vaccinated.

“Prevea Health remains deeply committed to protecting its patients, staff, providers and communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company wrote in a statement. “This includes encouraging and helping all eligible populations to become vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent the virus from further significantly impacting lives and livelihoods.”

Rodgers served as a spokesperson and partner for Prevea since 2012.

Rodgers responded to the controversy with a Friday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” where he claimed he couldn’t take mRNA vaccines because of an allergy and cited temporary concerns (for women) reported in April regarding the non-mRNA Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The benefits of J&J vaccination was ultimately ruled to outweigh possible risks and the CDC and FDA resumed recommendations.

“Everyone in the [Packers] organization knew I wasn’t vaccinated,” Rodgers said Friday. He’d previously petitioned the league to be considered a vaccinated player based on alternative treatments he’d received. That petition was denied and Rodgers said he continued following NFL protocols to a “T,” including daily COVID-19 testing.

Rodgers told McAfee he [Rodgers} was “in the cross-hairs of the woke mob” who are trying to put the “final nail in my cancel-culture casket” in the wake of the controversy. He said he feels certain COVID-19 safety protocols are meant to shame the unvaccinated and that he felt “the left” didn’t trust vaccines previously.

“Then what happened? Biden wins and everything flips,” he claimed, despite the fact that COVID-19 vaccinations were granted emergency approval and being widely administered to vulnerable groups during the Trump presidency.

Rodgers implied he still would not be getting vaccinated, saying he’d have “the best immunity possible” now that he’s had COVID-19 and will have antibodies. While those who recover from COVID-19 will have some protection, the CDC explains — based on collected study data — infection-induced protection is not as consistent or predictable as vaccine-induced protection. Rodgers pointed to an Israeli study claiming infection-induced protection was better than vaccine-induced, but the CDC’s report last week explains the “quality of evidence” that infection-induced protection is limited compared to data showing the opposite.

It’s important to note in cases of both “vaccination” (protection via vaccine) and “immunization” (protection via previous infection) — which are technically different — neither process makes a person completely “immune” from infection. Breakout cases can and will happen, the CDC says.

How the CDC Defines Being Immunized Vs. Vaccinated

Rodgers also says he’s been taking ivermectin, the deworming medication used in animals and humans, for his COVID-19 treatment. The drug, which can be in oral or topical, is not FDA approved for treatment of COVID-19 in humans and isn’t even an anti-viral drug — meaning it has no impact on the coronavirus.

“Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel has also determined that there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19,” the CDC writes.

Because of his illness and lack of vaccination, Rodgers will miss Sunday’s Green Bay vs. Kansas City Chiefs game.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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