The Gold Coast Titans have given Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly until tomorrow to drop their objections and agree to have a flu shot if they want to train and play with the team when the NRL season restarts.
- Gold Coast Titans second-rower Bryce Cartwright and centre Brian Kelly have been told they must agree to the flu vaccine if they want to rejoin their team
- NSW-based players are allowed to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of not having the vaccine in order to get an exemption
- However Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer, Jeannette Young, has refused to sign similar exemptions unless players have had a medical reaction to previous shots
The Titans announced late on Tuesday they had made formal requests to Cartwright and Kelly to obtain up-to-date flu vaccines and, if needed, pneumococcal vaccinations.
“Doing so will enable each player to meet the requirements of the Queensland State Government’s protocols allowing Queensland-based NRL clubs to train and play,” the club said.
“In turn, this will allow both players to resume training and to play with the Titans when the NRL premiership resumes on May 28.
“Both players have been asked to notify the club of their agreement with this direction by Thursday, May 14.
“The Gold Coast Titans will be making no further comment on this issue until that time.”
Peats has since had the vaccination, but Cartwright and Kelly have not.
On Monday, Dr Young said players who refused a flu shot for ethical or religious reasons would not be allowed to play in the state.
“I sent a letter to the NRL yesterday in which I did exempt them for medical contrary indications,” Dr Young said.
“If they have had an anaphylactic reaction to previous flu vaccine or any component of a flu vaccine, you do not need to be vaccinated so I have provided that exemption.”
When she was asked if players could get an exemption on other grounds, she replied: “That’s not covered.”
NSW-based players are allowed to train with team-mates after signing waivers.