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Gio Urshela on COVID injured list due to vaccine side effects

TAMPA, Florida – New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela has been placed on the COVID disabled list due to side effects after being vaccinated, the team announced Friday.

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

Infielder Mike Ford was brought in from the alternate site and activated for the series. Any player placed on the COVID disabled 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 group were vaccinated Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, both before and after their 4-3 11-inning loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Aaron Boone said that “several people in our travel group,” including the players, received the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Yankees issued a statement stating that Montefiore Medical Center medical staff administered all of the vaccinations.

“The New York Yankees would like to offer their sincere thanks to Dr. Philip Ozuah, president of Montefiore Medical Center, and the dedicated and hardworking group of medical staff from this Bronx-based hospital, who have been to Yankee Stadium this night to administer COVID vaccines to New York Yankees players, coaches, field staff and support personnel. This process has been smooth and efficient, and we are grateful that by receiving the vaccine, we can help stop the spread of COVID-19, “the team said in its statement.

The Yankees hope to get the necessary 85% of people fully vaccinated to relax some of MLB’s extensive health and safety restrictions.

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

The Yankees were one of the few teams that did not publicly voice their doubts about vaccines, and many major leaguers called it a “personal choice.”

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