NCAA changes definition of “fully vaccinated” for winter sports season

by Seth Udinski
NCAA changes definition of “fully vaccinated” for winter sports season

Seth Udinski, FISM News


As COVID-19 continues to dominate the national conversation, the NCAA is updating its definition of what it means to be “fully vaccinated” as the college sports calendar moves to the winter season.

According to a report by ESPN, the update is a response to the high publicized surge in positive cases, in what many in the media are blaming on the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Jeff Borzello of ESPN describes the updates are as follows:

Fully vaccinated individuals now include those within two months of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series; and individuals who are beyond the aforementioned timeline and have received the booster vaccine.

It should be noted also that the NCAA appears to now recognize natural immunity, at least for short-term protection. The new rule declares that a person is considered “fully vaccinated” within 90 days of contracting COVID-19. Still, it is unclear whether the league considers this new definition of “fully vaccinated” in conjunction with a COVID-19 vaccine, or if a non-vaccinated person who has natural immunity is considered “fully vaccinated.”

If the league does consider natural immunity as equivalent to vaccine immunity, it would certainly ease the heavy burdens on players and coaches who have chosen, whether for medical reasons or religious reasons, to refuse the COVID-19 shot.