LOGAN – A vaccine for COVID-19 has arrived in Cache Valley, but not soon enough to save the 2021 Junior Jazz program in Logan.
Logan Parks and Recreation officials announced the cancellation of the municipal youth basketball program on Dec. 18 due to what they called “the continuing impacts from the COVID-19 coronavirus.” The 2021 season of local Junior Jazz play had been scheduled to begin Jan. 2.
“Program staff were monitoring local conditions and reaching out to other communities,” according to city spokeswoman Emily Malik. “The steps necessary to safeguard the public’s health during games and practices were evaluated before making the difficult decision to cancel the program.”
In previous years, approximately 1,200 youngsters, both male and female, from 1st through 12th grade participated in the Logan Junior Jazz program. As many as 70 program games were scheduled every Saturday between January and mid-March.
Local officials’ awareness that neither of the recently approved vaccines for COVID-19 have been proven safe or effective for youngsters the age of Junior Jazz participants undoubtedly contributed to the cancellation decision.
The vaccine jointly developed by pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for distribution to people 16 and older. The immunization shot developed by rival Moderna is authorized for 18 year-olds and above.
Clinical trials for both vaccines with younger children are continuing.
Refunds will be issued and mailed out to everyone who had previously registered for the Junior Jazz program, Malik said.
Due to the high volume of refunds being issued, she added, that process may take four to six weeks.
As a form of consolation, city officials say each registered Junior Jazz participant and volunteer coach will receive a Utah Jazz tee-shirt. Details for the distribution of those shirts will be announced.