Student-Athletes Required Vaccination to Play

By: David Ehrlich (284)

The School District of Philadelphia recently announced that students who would like to participate in school sports must provide proof of full Covid vaccination. The deadline for verification of vaccination is December 18, 2021, and the spring sports’ deadline is March 1, 2022. If students are practicing sports without vaccination proof before the deadline commences, they will be tested twice a week. As soon as the deadline starts, all unvaccinated students will become ineligible to play or practice. The School District believes that mandating this rule will limit the number of game cancellations, and even Covid cases. Although this seems to be a great plan, will it benefit student-athletes or not? 

Central boys’ basketball and soccer player August Russel (284) shared his thoughts on the matter. He believes that the mandate will benefit student-athletes because “it will make school sports a much safer environment for athletes, coaches, and spectators.” Russel also believes that it does not make sense that student-athletes have to get vaccinated while public employees in Philadelphia do not. Vaccine mandates are a controversial topic, especially when athletes are involved. Another important question is, will Central’s sports teams benefit, worsen, or stay the same as a result of the mandate? Russel thinks that they will stay the same because “student-athletes across the city want to play, and if that means getting vaccinated to do so, they will.”


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