Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

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Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

naqt.com wrote:To protect the health and safety of everyone attending our tournaments, NAQT will require all participants at our 2022 in-person national championships to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Read more about our vaccination policy here (including details about implementation and a frequently-asked-questions list for coaches and parents). We welcome questions and comments from the community.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

Todd Gunther wrote:From the 2022 MSNCT Tournament Logistics Information:
naqt.com wrote:Once a participant’s documents have been checked, staff will place a wristband on the participant as evidence of completion of the verification process. The wristband must be worn throughout the tournament; no one without such a wristband (other than hotel staff) will be permitted in tournament areas. If a wristband must be removed, there will be a procedure for replacing it (including re-checking of documents), but it is expected that players should keep the same wristband throughout the weekend; wristbands will be safe to shower with.
Is this policy the best one could design for mitigating viral transmission?
If one were truly concerned about disease transmission, wouldn't requiring a negative test for all participants (including hotel staff) immediately before attendance be the correct policy?
Can someone please educate me on how, in a country where indoor events holding thousands of people have already been occurring for months, this policy of mandating mosquito netting around the tournament, but cutting holes in the mosquito netting for hotel staff (and presumably other guests) makes sense?
Here's our statement about testing policy (in short: we considered testing-based options and decided they were both less useful and logistically unfeasible):
naqt.com wrote:Because the vast majority of participants travel (including in crowded spaces) immediately before the championships to get to the site, tests taken before travel would be unreliable due to exposure during travel, and tests taken during/after travel would not have left enough incubation time to be reliable (so a person exposed during travel might well become contagious during the tournament despite a negative test).

In addition to being unreliable, just-in-time testing is a significant hassle for coaches (and NAQT) to manage. It would result in uncertainty about who could attend the tournament that could not be resolved until very shortly before the tournament. One of NAQT’s goals is to reduce hassle and make sure as much of the work as possible can be done well in advance of the tournament. That said, if NAQT felt that a test-based policy (or a testing alternative) would significantly improve safety at the tournament, we would implement it.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

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Todd Gunther wrote:hotel staff (and presumably other guests)
Some of this is beyond NAQT's control. Note that, in general, hotel staff and non-tournament hotel guests will have relatively little contact with tournament attendees (compared to other teams, coaches, chaperones, and NAQT tournament staff).
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Halinaxus »

naqt.com wrote:If a participant is unable or unwilling to provide the requisite documents (participation agreement in advance; proof of vaccination and photo identification on-site), they will not be permitted to attend.
When I attended HSNCT in 2019 as a freshman, I was only 14 and did not have any photo identification. I didn't get my learners' permit until after turning 15 later that year. I know not a whole lot of 14 year-olds attend HSNCT (basically only freshmen with summer birthdays), but I imagine the number is nonzero, and I would think this problem would be quite prevalent for middle schoolers at MSNCT.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

We're planning to accept most forms of organizationally-issued photo ID (for instance, student ID cards that have photos are fine). Coaches whose players may not have photo ID available should contact us directly to make alternate arrangements.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by x'x(-1)x'y »

Thank you for the response and clarification, Jeff.

It is reassuring that a test-based policy was at least considered.
The words "(we) decided they (mandatory testing policies) were logistically unfeasible" certainly give me more confidence in the thought behind rejecting a test-based policy than "(mandating testing is) a significant hassle," but that's really just semantics.
I'm still confused as to why vaccinated people (like myself) should feel more threatened by unvaccinated people than anyone in general who might be a carrier of the coronavirus, but I must accept that many vaccinated people do feel that way -- despite studies (and my own personal experience) showing that the vaccines are more effective than their initial testing indicated. This policy will certainly act to allay the fears of such people.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by meebles127 »

Does NAQT plan to allow official state vaccine records to be presented in lieu of vaccine cards?
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

At the present time, we are not (primarily because there is such a wide diversity of possible standards from one state to another).
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by CPiGuy »

Important Bird Area wrote: Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:40 pm At the present time, we are not (primarily because there is such a wide diversity of possible standards from one state to another).
I think what Em meant was official documents (produced by either the government or by one's health provider) giving a list of all the immunizations that someone has received (documents which have been issued since well before the pandemic for purposes such as verifying immunization status for schools) -- not any sort of state "vaccine passport" specifically for exemptions to COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully such documentation would be accepted for people who have lost their vaccine cards (or perhaps were vaccinated in a foreign country and do not have an American-style vaccine card). I do realize this is a pretty minor nitpick and people in this situation could probably sort it out by talking to NAQT directly, though.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

There were a series of papers in Nature published two days ago (Dec 23rd, 2021) suggesting that, without boosters, there's a significant drop in protection against Omicron compared to the original COVID D614G strain and delta (I would be happy to summarize the data in laymans' terms to any quizbowl organization if requested). I would strongly recommend boosters as a requirement, even if the CDC doesn't mandate them by March.

I'm obligated to say this is a recommendation based on my own reading of the data and not any professional association, but this is a field I know decently well (likely significantly better than the median medical professional because my PhD involved a lot of antibody characterization), and I'll wear whatever hat you need to signal that I'm suggesting this very strongly.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by The Favourite »

I am in agreement with Eric on boosters being required, for those that are able to obtain them. I do have some small pushback/questions. For my team and others around me, some students began the vaccination process when this announcement from NAQT (and PACE's) came out. For those students, the timeline to get the booster will not work for any in-person National Tournaments this year since there is a required six month gap between second dose and booster. Is NAQT (and tangentially PACE) willing to work with these students that do not have the ability to get the booster, in the case that boosters become mandatory?
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Cheynem »

I would assume if there is a booster policy it would be something like "you are required to have a booster if you are able, within medical guidelines, to get one."
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by The Favourite »

Cheynem wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:10 pm I would assume if there is a booster policy it would be something like "you are required to have a booster if you are able, within medical guidelines, to get one."
EDIT: Not speaking directly to Mike here, just a general question.

I feel like that's how it should be worded too, but if/when the booster becomes mandatory to be fully vaccinated, would that time not then be the same as the time in between doses one and two currently? You are in the process of full vaccination, but are not considered fully vaccinated, and therefor denied entry to certain institutions and establishments.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

Right now, boosters are not required to count as fully vaccinated under the CDC's definition, which is the definition we will use for our 2022 in-person national championships. We think it's reasonably likely that by March 1 (the "policy as-of" date we're using) boosters will be required in certain cases, such as for people whose previous dose was more than five months ago. If the CDC uses a definition like that, unboosted players (within five months of their second dose) would be in compliance with our policy.

If the CDC does create a policy in which some would-be tournament participants are not counted as fully vaccinated despite those people taking all reasonable efforts to be vaccinated, we will evaluate the CDC's policy and our policy to determine whether another option would be suitably safe.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by The Favourite »

Important Bird Area wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:20 pm Right now, boosters are not required to count as fully vaccinated under the CDC's definition, which is the definition we will use for our 2022 in-person national championships. We think it's reasonably likely that by March 1 (the "policy as-of" date we're using) boosters will be required in certain cases, such as for people whose previous dose was more than five months ago. If the CDC uses a definition like that, unboosted players (within five months of their second dose) would be in compliance with our policy.

If the CDC does create a policy in which some would-be tournament participants are not counted as fully vaccinated despite those people taking all reasonable efforts to be vaccinated, we will evaluate the CDC's policy and our policy to determine whether another option would be suitably safe.
Thanks Jeff! Is there an email address that NAQT has for teams with questions over these potential concerns to contact?
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

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The Favourite wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:05 pm Thanks Jeff! Is there an email address that NAQT has for teams with questions over these potential concerns to contact?
Yes, teams that wish to contact us directly with questions should write to [email protected].
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Here Comes Rusev Day »

While I think it is too early to suggest boosters should be considered as part of the aspect of "fully vaccinated" for HSNCT, they should still be strongly recommended and if a multivalent or Omicron specific booster is out 2-3 months from now, required. I also appreciate NAQT's openness and willingness to be open and transparent about this.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Ndg »

It seems that, in the last couple of weeks, the CDC has started to use the phrase "up-to-date" to mean having the recommended booster doses, while continuing to use "fully vaccinated" to mean having at least the original one- or two-dose series. Because my reading of NAQT's policy is that it's directly tied to the phrase "fully vaccinated", I think it would be helpful for NAQT to clarify two things:

1. Will NAQT correspondingly update its policy to follow the "up-to-date" definition, or continue to use the "fully vaccinated" definition? The spirit of the policy seems to be "we want people to have whatever doses the CDC recommends", but I would also understand not wanting to cause controversy by making the policy look like a moving target.

2. There's been some discourse lately (example) over whether "fully vaccinated" is even a useful term at all. (That's probably why the CDC introduced "up-to-date".) Does NAQT have a plan for if the CDC stops using the phrase "fully vaccinated" entirely between now and 3/1?
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by Important Bird Area »

We're going to wait and see about the future course of both virus transmission and CDC policy. It is possible that we might require boosters for some or all future championships; if so, we'll announce that here and by email to registered teams.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by William McCurley »

I apologize if this was already answered, please bear with me.
If a booster requirement is added, will there be any exceptions made for those who received their previous dose less than five months before the start of the tournament and are therefore unable to receive a booster? One of my teammates falls into this category; navigating around anti-vax or vaccine-skeptic parents can be a real struggle.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by jonpin »

Important Bird Area wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:20 pm Right now, boosters are not required to count as fully vaccinated under the CDC's definition, which is the definition we will use for our 2022 in-person national championships. We think it's reasonably likely that by March 1 (the "policy as-of" date we're using) boosters will be required in certain cases, such as for people whose previous dose was more than five months ago. If the CDC uses a definition like that, unboosted players (within five months of their second dose) would be in compliance with our policy.

If the CDC does create a policy in which some would-be tournament participants are not counted as fully vaccinated despite those people taking all reasonable efforts to be vaccinated, we will evaluate the CDC's policy and our policy to determine whether another option would be suitably safe.
William, Jeff posted the above earlier in the thread, which seems to suggest your teammate would be okay.
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Re: Vaccination Policy for NAQT's 2022 In-Person Championships

Post by William McCurley »

Thank you! I saw that earlier, though I was not sure if that policy had been changed.
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