Newswise — LEAWOOD, KS (Sept. 21, 2021) – The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine recently released a statement supporting COVID-19 vaccine requirements for high school and youth sports athletes for those who are eligible. AMSSM released the statement during a webinar with the National Federation of State High School Associations, the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“All 50 states already require the MMR, Tdap and other vaccines for school attendance and to participate in high school sports,” AMSSM President Amy Powell, MD, FAMSSM, and a sports medicine physician at the University of Utah. “It’s time for every state to add the COVID-19 vaccine to this list. It’s vital to our nation’s health and well-being that our children receive the necessary vaccines as recommended by the CDC throughout their childhood and lifetimes.”
AMSSM’s Vaccination Statement for High School/Youth Sports is posted on the AMSSM COVID-19 Resources page, along with the Interim COVID Sports Physical forms, a Consensus Statement on Vaccine Conversations as Part of Sports Physical; Interim Guidance Document on Preparticipation Evaluation During the COVID Pandemic - Vaccine Update; and a variety of other resources for physicians, other medical providers, parents and coaches are posted.
Dr. Powell noted that per CDC guidelines, vaccinated athletes do not have to quarantine following COVID exposure, which may result in substantially less time missed from school and sports.
“Young people who have not been able to participate in sports may have negative impacts to the physical, emotional, and psychological health,” said AMSSM Board Member and Publications Chair Jason Matuszak, MD, FAMSSM. “And getting kids vaccinated in advance of the higher-risk indoor sports season means starting now, since it takes at least five weeks to be fully protected.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona also shared a message about the importance of these vaccination recommendations during the webinar, and he praised CDC and AMSSM for supporting the national effort to get more young people vaccinated.
“I commend both of those groups for their leadership and commitment to student safety,” Secretary Cardona said. “What’s right is not always popular, but as leaders, we have to make the tough decisions. After 18 hard months for our young people, the stakes are too high not to get vaccinated.”
AMSSM Vaccination Statement for High School and Youth Sports
Given the continued high rate of spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through much of the country and the role that organized sports has played in multiple large outbreaks, AMSSM applauds states and municipalities that are following CDC recommendations and strategies to keep students and young people safe.
Vaccination against COVID-19 prevents widespread disease, hospitalizations, and deaths and will help keep students in the classroom, athletes in the game, and athletic teams on the field, while protecting our communities.
AMSSM believes COVID-19 vaccination should be required for all those who are eligible and who participate in interscholastic and youth sports, including athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and medical providers. AMSSM has already released guidance for medical providers on incorporating COVID-19 vaccination into the sports physical exam.
We now call on states, municipalities, school districts, and youth sports organizations to craft regulations and policy that require COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite to participation.
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
* Statement approved by AMSSM Board of Directors on Sept. 13, 2021.
About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic and Paralympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. www.amssm.org
For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.