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Yanks 3B Urshela out with vaccine side effects

TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela was placed on the COVID injured list due to side effects from a vaccination, the team announced Friday.

Urshela was originally listed in the starting lineup, hitting eighth, but the Yankees made the change shortly before the opener of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Infielder Mike Ford was recalled from the alternate site and activated for the series. Any player placed on the COVID injured list does not count against the 40-man roster. The COVID injured list also does not require a minimum stay.

Uniformed personnel and members of the Yankees traveling party were vaccinated on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, both before and after their 4-3 loss in 11 innings to the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Aaron Boone said that “a number of people in our travel party,” including players, received the vaccine against COVID-19.

The Yankees released a statement indicating that medical personnel from Montefiore Medical Center administered all vaccinations.

“The New York Yankees would like to offer their sincere thanks to Dr. Philip Ozuah, President of Montefiore Medical Center, and the hard-working and dedicated group of medical staff from this Bronx-based hospital, who have been on-site at Yankee Stadium this evening to administer COVID vaccinations to New York Yankees players, coaches, field staff and support staff. This process has been seamless and efficient, and we are grateful that by receiving the vaccine, we can contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” the team said in its statement.

The Yankees are hoping to achieve the necessary 85% of individuals fully vaccinated in order to relax some of MLB’s extensive health and safety restrictions.

Any team that reaches the 85% threshold with its Tier 1 individuals, a group that includes players, coaches and high-level staff, would have some of the protocols loosened, such as the requirement to wear masks in the dugout. Those Tier 1 individuals would also not have to quarantine after a COVID exposure.

The Yankees were one of the few teams to not publicly express vaccine hesitancy, with many players across the majors calling it a “personal choice.”

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