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Midshipmen Athletics Mass-Vaccinated in Preparation for the Fall

April 14, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
Since the United States Naval Academy announced its Midshipmen were eligible to voluntarily received the COVID-19 vaccine back in early March, its athletic teams are still following Patriot League protocols.

Vaccinations are being done every Thursday and Friday for the 4,000-plus campus and take several weeks, according to a report in the Capital Gazette. The Navy men’s lacrosse team, for example, received their first vaccination with the rest of the Brigade in early March, the Gazette reported.

The report went to state that the Midshipmen received the Moderna vaccine, and the second dose started to roll out last week.

“Having everyone in the program vaccinated certainly gives us more of a sense of confidence,” Navy men’s lacrosse coach Joe Amplo said to the Gazette. “At the same time, the threat is still going to be there, so we have to remain vigilant.”

But with spring sports still taking place, the Patriot League is still requiring the Navy to follow all of its protocols — getting regular testing before contests and other procedures to prevent spread.

“Most people might not be aware of this, but you are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving the second dose,” Jim Berry, associate athletic director for sports medicine with the Naval Academy Athletic Association said to the Gazette. “Also, if someone who is vaccinated becomes symptomatic, you still have to treat that person as COVID positive until proven otherwise.”

The Midshipmen’s athletic director, Chet Gladchuk, believes getting a jumpstart on vaccination — they are the only Patriot League member school that has all of its spring athletes vaccinated, the Gazette reported — will pay dividends once the fall season rolls around. He’s particularly interested in seeing what happens to the bottom line of his athletic budget, where constant testing can prove to be extremely expensive.

“We’re in a transitional period right now. I believe eventually everyone will come around that vaccination provides safe harbor,” Gladchuk said to the Gazette. “As statistics prove the effectiveness of the vaccine, leaders will have more confidence that if vaccinated, you don’t need to be tested.

“That’s going to save money, eliminate cancelations, improve logistics, reduce anxiety … right on down the line.”

To read the full story from the Capital Gazette, click here