12 October 2021

Would you play alongside or against a player who hasn’t been vaccinated?

| Tim Gavel
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All Stars for Mental Health match

All Stars for Mental Health match, hosted by Cricket ACT. Photo: Peter Norton.

As the Canberra community maps out a phased return to competitive sport, a fascinating debate is happening behind the scenes.

The directives about vaccinations for participants differ from what is taking place in many professional and international competitions.

NBL clubs have already parted ways with two players unwilling to be vaccinated. The AFL has indicated that vaccinations are the pathway out after another season disrupted by COVID.

The Victorian Government has stated that AFL players must be fully vaccinated before returning for pre-season training on 26 November.

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The NRL has also encouraged players to be vaccinated, stating that unvaccinated players could face issues with travel. In fact, there is a campaign underway, with players encouraging the wider community to be vaccinated.

While ACT sports organisations are not making COVID vaccinations mandatory to compete, there is a strong encouragement to do so.

An example is Cricket ACT. The organisation is looking at a phased return to competition on 5 November for seniors and juniors Cricket ACT. A revamped women’s first-grade competition will also begin on Sunday, 28 November. Cricket ACT has encouraged all competitors to be vaccinated.

Cricket ACT’s media release echoes statements from several other sports. It points out that vaccines are not mandatory, but Cricket ACT strongly encourages everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to get their jabs to play a part in keeping our community safe.

Basketball ACT is also mapping out a phased return to competition. The summer league starts in January.

In a memo sent by Basketball ACT, members were reminded of the ACT Government Health position that vaccinations are voluntary yet highly recommended, and no public health directives have been issued requiring proof of vaccination.

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However, Basketball ACT does strongly encourage all members and the wider basketball community to become vaccinated to protect all within the basketball community and the wider public.

The organisation has also established ‘Vaxx Ambassadors’, with local basketball personalities encouraging those within the basketball community to step up and get vaccinated.

CEO David Simpson says in the lead up to the return, two free court sessions will be provided at both the Southern Cross and Belconnen Stadiums.

At this stage, Basketball ACT is not considering implementing policies requiring mandatory vaccinations before returning to the courts.

So these and other sports organisations are playing a part in keeping the community safe from the spread of COVID-19. They are doing what they can to encourage people back to organised sport.

But if you play a sport in the ACT, would you be comfortable playing with or against somebody who isn’t vaccinated, or would you place your kids in the same scenario? Judging by the vaccination take-up rates in Canberra, there’s the possibility it may not even be an issue.

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I would refuse – just to annoy the anti vaxxers.

Can anyone update me on the most recent narrative/explanation as to what function the vaccine is now claimed to perform?

It’s formal purpose and reason for being?

Are we officially down to ‘it might slightly mitigate your symptoms when you catch it’?

The function or efficacy of the vaccine hasn’t changed, it’s only certain people attempting to push barrows pretending others are claiming the vaccine is something it isn’t.

The vaccines significantly reduce the chance of catching COVID or passing it on to others.

The vaccines significantly reduce the chance of serious illness of death if you do catch COVID.

No one is saying it is 100% effective but when you place its effectiveness across a broad base of the population, it prevents COVID from spreading exponentially and prevents our health system from being overloaded.

Which is why you need such high take up rates.

Hope this has helped clear up your information challenges.

You asked this same question a few weeks back if I recall.

The vaccine is meant to do what it and all vaccines are meant to do. And that is to stimulate an immune response in your body so that it has a better chance of fighting off any potential infection you may get.

The faster and better your body can respond to a virus the less the chance of your body getting sick and the less the virus has a chance to multiply all of which means a lower chance of passing it on.

Not sure why that is so hard to understand.

Yes I would play alongside an unvaccinated player, as the vaccine only lessens your symptoms it doesn’t stop you from catching or transmitting the vaccine.

Garry Hopkins5:36 pm 13 Oct 21

You are wrong. Clinical studies have shown that vaccination reduces the likelihood of getting infected (and then infecting others by at least 80%).

Lessening of symptoms also means less virus which means less chance of passing it on and having a smaller viral load.

Also if you have it and are not coughing and sneezing which would be as a result of lessening of symptoms again less chance to pass it on.

No vaccine is a shield stopping you getting it, it is as I said above to give you body the antibodies to fight any infection quickly and strongly.

Would you play with someone who had AIDS / didnt take the flu vaccine. Didnt keep in good shape. Had been to remote countries where they could get extremely rare viruses?

You have a higher chance of dying in a road traffic accident. Does that mean that everyone is going to hand in their licences?

What a low blow to include AIDS. Is there anyone who still believes you can “catch” AIDS just by being around someone who has it? Besides, that’s why games have blood rules – to eliminate the only transmission vector that might occur.

The ACT is going to be 99% fully vaccinated for 12+ (already at 98% first dose) by November, meaning there will only be 3,441 Canberran 12+ unvaccinated (based on Medicare data).

Yes, I would be quite happy for kids or adults to play together without parental and/or adult paranoia interferring with their fun.
Basketball ACT and any other sporting club should not implement a discriminatory, deliberately exclusive practice of requiring mandatory vaccination. It is not a legal requiremen, although club lawyers may push for it Going down this path will result in some paranoid, or win at all costs coaches/team officials and parents demanding that all the players on the other side show evidence of vaccination, (and annual booster shots) or forfeit the match. We never insisted that players be vaccinated before covid and should not start now.

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