The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is looking to include vaccination in the eligibility requirements of athletes.
Management Committee (ManCom) Peter Cayco said as much during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum Tuesday. The league is keen on protecting its athletes and members from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Actually we’re discussing it right now, and we’re geared towards including the vaccination in the eligibility requirements of athletes,” he said.
Vaccination is imperative for the Grand Old League, since it believes that things will be easier for sports in general if everyone involved will get the much-needed immunity from the dreaded virus.
That is the same stand of counterpart University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). The UAAP called the vaccine a game-changer recently while it looks to stage Season 84 after cancelling Season 83 last year.
“Pagka may vaccine na, sabi nga ng mga kaibigan natin doon sa kabila, game-changer,” said ManCom chairman Fr. Vic Calvo, OP of Season 96 hosts Colegio de San Juan de Letran, as he also guested in the session.
The NCAA understands if there are those who remain unsure of getting jabs. But the league remains firm in ensuring the safety of all involved.
“Although we recognize the rights of the students to choose kung ma-vaccinate sila or not, we also have to consider the rights of the other students na gusto magpa-vaccinate,” said Cayco, who was the Season 95 president.
“We’re putting it as part of our eligibility requirements. We’re just clearing the details with our legal team para wala naman tayong sabit pare-pareho.”
And to help reduce the hesitancy towards inoculation, Calvo said that the league plans to heighten its vaccine information campaign.
“Kaya pinupush namin ‘yung vaccine information campaign. Si sir Herc (Herc Callanta, Lyceum athletics department consultant) ‘yung naka-assign dito para ‘yung hesitancy ng mga players [mabawasan].”