CWU and Kittitas County are preparing as the next batch of COVID-19 vaccines work their way through the residents and students of Ellensburg

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Senior Reporter

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CWU’s athletics have finally resumed practice after approximately 10 months. As of Jan. 19, Kittitas County has received 2,000 doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. While it is unlikely the majority of student athletes will have access to the vaccine in the winter, the spring has become a feasible option. 

Athletic Trainer Isaac Perry believes the university could see all students to decide on whether they want to take the shot or not at a later date when more information is discovered and reviewed.   

“The more you look into it or research it, the methodology of creating the vaccine was a little different than some of the other ones we’ve seen. So, just from there we don’t have a ton of data on it long term,” Perry said. Some athletes have questioned more than just whether the shot itself will have a substantial impact on themselves, but the team chemistry as well. 

Senior Offensive Lineman Will Ortner said he is ready for the shot tomorrow if the Athletic department required the vaccine. 

“To me getting that vaccine, not only would it allow me to play sports right away, it would allow me to see my family, [my] grandparents specifically,” Ortner said. 

The question then comes to mind of how players would react to members of the team who would opt out of receiving the vaccine. 

“If you have to take the vaccine to play, and you don’t take the vaccine, you’re not going to play. So, I really don’t have time to worry about that,” Ortner said. 

Senior Pitcher Lexie Strasser said the media could also play a role in how CWU athletes view the vaccine. 

“You see the internet stuff and you see writing whatever and you never really know what’s true and stuff. I know I’ve seen a couple things like woman fertility may be an issue in the future and that’s where I’m turned off about the vaccine,” Strasser said. 

To Strasser,  a possibility of a future family is her number one consideration. 

“Obviously, I want a family one day, but it’s the fact that is so new and nobody knows the long terms effects of it. But I also think it’s good that we have a vaccine. Obviously because [COVID-19] is bad and why we are in this situation,” Strasser said. 

For some athletes, the vaccine is a welcomed answer to the social distancing requirements of the team. 

Sophomore Outside Hitter Laynie Erickson said this will be a major help to the comfortability of the athletes. 

“For me, I would actually enjoy it just because if we are all vaccinated, I know that we wouldn’t have to wear masks at practice, which would be super nice. And our travel guidelines would be more lenient,” Erickson said. 

Rather than the university dictating the vaccine, some players may be vaccinated prior to their first matchups from outside reasons. An example of this is the volunteer work of the volleyball team at the local Fish Food bank in Ellensburg. 

Erickson said the players who would choose to volunteer would have to be vaccinated prior to lending a hand. 

“That could be in the near future just specifically the volleyball team,” Erickson said.

According to the website of Kittitas County Public Health the shipment of vaccines is set to begin distribution of the upper and lower county between Jan. 26 through Jan. 29.