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NCAA to provide vaccines

The NCAA is planning to provide COVID-19 vaccines to its student-athletes and coaches. Photo courtesy of Jemverick Viray

INOCULATING the NCAA community is an utmost priority to get back on track, as the league is planning to provide COVID-19 vaccines to its student-athletes and coaches.

NCAA Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of Season 96 host Letran said that the league will likely to partner with a top pharmaceutical company through Emilio Aguinaldo College president Jose Paolo Campos.

Medyo maganda naman yung meeting namin with the company,” Calvo during last Tuesday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

By May, it is available, sabi ng Unilab, ‘yung Covavax. Other schools, in fact, doon din sila mago-order. Mukhang maganda naman ‘yung terms because of EAC as a member of the NCAA,” he added.

Campos is also a part-owner of Unilab, which recently signed an agreement with Faberco Life Sciences, Inc. to distribute the Covavax vaccine in the Philippines.

So mas maganda yung usapan when it comes to the vaccine. So we will finance the vaccination of the athletes and the officials,” said Calvo.

The NCAA has adopted a “no vaccine, no tournament” stand, but is now plotting to open Season 96 by the first week of May.

Given the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and the hefty cost of conducting bubble tournaments, the NCAA will not hold a full slate of events.

The league is planning to stage online chess, taekwondo (speed kicking) and poomsae competitions, while skills events in basketball and volleyball are also in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, the NCAA also intend to hold an information drive regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, after a recent survey of its member-schools revealed that there was a “hesitancy” about the vaccine, according to Calvo.

Mababa ‘yung response ng student-athletes and coaches. We have to have a vaccine information campaign,” said Calvo.

The season shortened by the pandemic will not affect the NCAA student-athletes’ years of eligibility.

Ngayon, not counted,” said Calvo.

The league said last year that it will relax its eligibility rules for Season 96 for those athletes who were affected by the termination of Season 95. The graduating players who were unable to play their events due to the cancellation are still eligible to see action for one more year.