U.S. Open asks players to get 2018 vaccination before tournament

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is urging players to get the 2018 US Open vaccination, saying it should be given before the championship begins at Arthur Ashe Stadium on August 27. The standard US Open immunization schedule, which was updated in 2016, involves getting one shot before the tournament starts, and another shot at the start of the following year. Tanisha Clarke, Chief Health Officer for the USTA, said that the sport in general, and tennis specifically, benefits from vaccination. “Many players are attending the event for the first time, and it’s important to think of the possible health issues they might face during the event,” she said in a statement. “Vaccinating players against many of the diseases that make it dangerous to play can help protect them and the other attendees of the tournament.” In a letter sent to a group of players last month, the USTA said that one possible side effect of the US Open immunization schedule is that it would “make it difficult for teams to communicate together during medical emergencies.”

The letter also urged the players to “discreetly share” their information about the immunization schedule with other players at the tournament.

The USTA suggested a new, less “onerous” schedule which does not include trips to the locker room. “The only visits many athletes may have to the locker room is to change clothes, and require a return to the locker room at the end of their match or practice session.”

The USTA announced this week that after the US Open tournament, tennis tournaments in London and Paris will introduce a completely vaccine-free environment for players, which will include the 2018 U.S. Open. This summer, tennis professionals and millions of people will be able to witness Serena Williams play in the French Open for the first time since giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. While Williams is a no-show at this year’s US Open, upcoming Fed Cup events will get much more exposure: Last week, it was revealed that Williams would be returning to competitive tennis at the 2019 Fed Cup.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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