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Kuskokwim 300 will require vaccinations for the 2022 race

The 2018 Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race. (Courtesy Greg Lincoln)
The 2018 Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race. (Courtesy Greg Lincoln)(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race announced on Friday it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone involved in this winter’s race. This decision came after the races board of directors unanimously adopted a policy requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our board feels strongly, we need to take every measure possible and use every tool available to ensure our event is safe,” said Race Manager Paul Basile in a phone interview Friday.

The vaccination requirement will apply to employees, mushers, handlers, volunteers, race marshals and veterinarians. In a release from the Kuskokwim 300, they defined fully vaccinated as two weeks past the final shot in the individual’s vaccination course.

“We haven’t heard any negative feedback, yet,” Basile said. “I’ll note that not only was this a unanimous decision by our board, it was clear from the onset of the discussion that the policy had strong support across the board. It was quite clear that to our organization this was the right thing for our region.”

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race announced a nearly identical vaccination requirement on Thursday. The Kuskokwim 300 begins on Jan. 28, 2022, and those involved with the race will need a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival in Bethel.

According to the release, the policy also extends to the Bogus Creek 150, the Akiak Dash and all other Kuskokwim 300 events in the 2021-22 season.

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