On April 9, student-athletes received an email from Keene State’s Assistant Athletic Director Abe Osheyack offering the chance to sign up for a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
“Rite Aid has contacted [Keene State College] and they have 100 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines available for Keene State,” stated the original email.
“We would like to offer these one dose vaccines to KSC student-athletes, regardless of their home state… Appointments will be offered April 13 to 17, Tuesday through Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 to 2 p.m..”
Four days after the email was sent, the CDC and FDA announced that they were recommending a pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine administering due to it causing a rare blood clotting disorder.
Keene State College responded to the recommendation by cancelling all student-athlete appointments that had been previously made.
“The Rite Aid COVID-19 vaccination appointments have been cancelled for this week,” stated the email sent on April 13. “Until further notice, we will suspend efforts to enroll KSC students to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine. Safety is our first priority and the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine needs further investigation at this time.”
While the vaccine appointments have all been cancelled, Osheyack explained in an interview that student-athletes were not prioritized when they were available.
“I would not describe it as a prioritization of student-athletes, I would describe it as, 100 shots from Johnson and Johnson were made available to the Wellness Center, or people at the Wellness Center, and they offered us the opportunity to offer them to student-athletes first,” said Osheyack. “It was not something that the college sought out as a prioritization of student-athletes.”
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