Veteran ESPN reporter Allison Williams says her "heart hurts" at not being on the sidelines for college football for the first time in 15 years—but she has decided to step aside instead of complying with a COVID vaccine mandate. Williams tweeted Wednesday that while her work is extremely important to her, she feels getting vaccinated is not in her "best interest," because she is trying to get pregnant, Deadline reports. "Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a 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," she said. She thanked people who had reached out to ask about her absence from Week 1 broadcasts, USA Today reports.
"After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first," Williams wrote. She added: "I look forward to when I can return to the games and job that I love." Official CDC guidance states that vaccination is recommended for people trying to get pregnant and there is no evidence that COVID vaccines cause fertility problems in women or men. Disney, ESPN's parent company, announced its vaccine mandate in July. (Last month, the CDC advised pregnant women to get vaccinated as soon as possible.)