According the latest update from the university, 94 percent of UConn student-athletes — including the entirety of 10 of the Huskies’ programs — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the school announced Friday.
“I am extremely proud of our student-athletes for their commitment to the health and well-being of the campus community,” athletic director David Benedict said in a release. ”The hard work and dedication of our medical staff, led by Dr. Deena Casiero, and the commitment made by our head coaches, were the driving forces behind this success. Becoming vaccinated is the most effective means by which we can keep COVID-19 at bay and ensure that all our teams are able to compete in a far more typical and rewarding fashion in 2021-22.”
Both basketball and soccer teams, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s ice hockey, rowing, women’s swimming & diving and softball are all at 100 percent vaccination amongst players, while baseball, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, and women’s track and field teams will reach the mark “in the coming weeks”, according to the school.
UConn’s football, men’s hockey, men’s track and field, women’s tennis and volleyball programs are the only ones that aren’t currently expected to reach 100 percent vaccination.
“We did have some young men that didn’t want to be vaccinated,” football head coach Randy Edsall said in August, noting that 96 of 103 players on the roster were fully vaccinated. “We’ve tried to give them all the information they need… but again, it’s a personal choice for them and I respect that, and I’ll always respect that.
“We’re very, very close, but we’re not 100% (vaccinated),” men’s hockey coach Mike Cavanaugh told The UConn Blog on Tuesday.
UConn required all students attending in-person classes this fall as well as all faculty and staff to be full vaccinated, though they did allow individuals to request a medical or religious exemption, or a deferral. In early August, the CT Mirror reported 800 UConn students requested exemptions, with the dean of students granting 504 of those requests as of Aug. 3.