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UB's Alumni Arena requires COVID vaccinations for those aged 5-11

A full Alumni Arena
University at Buffalo Basketball

Those family trips to the University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena for relatively cheap sports events are going to be a little different the rest of this winter, with new vaccination rules.

The university has expanded its vax rules to require shots for those ages 5-11. Until now the vaccination rules started at age 12.

With vaccinations now approved for those down to the age of 5 and rising numbers of kids being hospitalized with COVID, rules are being tightened, including mandatory masks. The first games under the new rules will be on Jan. 8, a basketball double-header.

Dr. Allison Brashear, UB's vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the Jacobs Medical School, said these are progressively tighter rules — as are the federal rules — as this latest virus surge rises.

"National health guidelines call for individuals to be vaccinated. So by Feb. 1, the children from 5-11 who want to attend the games must prove that they have completed their vaccination series," he said, "and for those wanting to attend the games beginning Jan. 8 must prove they have had one injection."

UB offers a wide array of sports at Alumni Arena, including men's and women's basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving, and are chances for kids to see sports in a college atmosphere.

"Part of what we want to do to keep everybody safe," said Brashear. "It is really part of a multi-pronged strategy and this is falling in line with public policy, in terms of getting children vaccinated."

Brashear said the vax rule may also help keep kids in school.