Williams said she supports vaccinations in general but cannot accept this vaccine.
“While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother,” she said.
“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 continued. “I must put my family and personal health first.”
ESPN said in a statement that it is offering and reviewing exemption requests, but Williams apparently did not apply for or receive a medical exemption.
“We are going through a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case by case basis, and are granting accommodations where warranted,” an ESPN spokesperson said in a statement. “Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”
Williams said in a statement on Twitter that her choice to resign rather than accept a vaccine pained her, though she has come to peace with it.
This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football.
My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision. pic.twitter.com/np5V3gdrfW
— Allison Williams (@AllisonW_Sports) September 9, 2021
Neither vaccine manufacturers nor federal regulators have conducted long-term studies on the vaccine’s effects on fertility. Some women have reported fertility problems after taking the vaccine.
“This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly,” Williams said. “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.”