ESPN’s Allison Williams Steps Away, Citing Concerns About Vaccine, Pregnancy

Allison Williams, a longtime college football and basketball sidelines reporter for ESPN, said she will not participate in coverage this fall due to concerns she has about taking the coronavirus vaccine while she’s trying to get pregnant.

“My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision,” she wrote in a post on Twitter. “While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother. Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for a second child.”

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ESPN’s parent, Walt Disney Company, said in July that it would require all salaried, non-union employees to get vaccinated against coronavirus within 60 days. Medical authorities have said the current vaccines pose no threat to pregnancies or a developing child. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have said the vaccines don’t cause any issues with fertility.

“This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly. I understand vaccines have been essential in the effort to end this pandemic; however, taking the vaccine at this time is not in my best interest,” Williams said. “After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first.”

She joined ESPN in 2011, after working for a regional sports network in Florida that had been affiliated with Fox Sports.

Williams said she was “thankful for the support of my ESPN family,” and said, “I look forward to when I can return to the games and job I love.”

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