Two players from the West Indies women’s cricket team collapsed on the field during a televised match with Pakistan in Antigua three days after the club announced players had received both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations.
On June 29, the team, a Carribean islands cricket club nicknamed the Windies composed of both a men’s and women’s roster, announced on Twitter that more than 30 players and staff members from its women’s branch have received a full set of injections for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.
The Windies played Pakistan on July 2. Approximately 1 hour and 52 minutes into the televised broadcast, one of the club’s Jamacian players suddenly collapsed on field and began convulsing.
As the woman lay unconscious on her back on the field and her teammates rushed to her aid, calling for the team doctor, announcers were dumbfounded and could only concernedly say “Wow.”
Players and staff called for a stretcher, which was deployed as the player was taken to hospital.
Ten minutes later at approximately 2 hours and 2 minutes into the broadcast, a second Jamacian Windies player collapsed off screen by the dressing room as players waited for the pitch to be uncovered due to a smattering of rain.
As a second stretcher was deployed, “I’ve never seen anything like this. What’s going on?” asked one announcer. The second replied, “There’s something in the air. I don’t know. This is unusual.”
“I’ve never seen this at a cricket game before,” remarked the first.
According to Loop News, the players were identified as Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation. Loop said the players were conscious and in stable condition at the hospital where they were being assessed.
The players were substituted for and the match continued. The Windies successfully defeated Pakistan. Pakistan’s team captain Javeria Khan, expressed hope for a quick and full recovery for Henry and Nation after the game, adding, “Such incidents are tragic and can shake whole dressing rooms. Hats off to the West Indies that they turned up and completed the match despite the grave incident.”
On July 4, the Windies posted two videos to Twitter by the affected players stating they had recovered.
In May, Henry posed for a vaccine acceptance promotional piece that was published on the team’s website after receiving her first injection. The article says the Cricket West Indies club partnered with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to distribute vaccinations, adding the club supports, “the Government’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of receiving the vaccine to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus.”
The Windies’ vaccine acceptance initiative continued when they announced only fully vaccinated spectators would be allowed to attend the match versus Pakistan on June 30, “Fans who purchase tickets will need to present their vaccination documentation and national ID to Ministry of Health representatives to validate their vaccination status and permit entry to the ground. Fans under the age of 18 years will not be allowed to purchase tickets or enter the venues,” reads the announcement, which adds fans will have to remain fully masked outdoors.
On July 6, the Windies similarly announced that only the fully vaccinated would be able to spectate when the West Indies men’s club play Australia in St. Lucia.
An official website by the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Health Wellness and Environment says “If lies and myths about the vaccines spread so much that many people decide not to get vaccinated, more people could die and the pandemic will last longer.”
“It’s important to check out claims that you hear, with reputable sources of information, and share good information with others. It will take all of us to fight back against deadly misinformation.”
The FAQ section for the website references the AstraZeneca variant of the vaccine.
Antigua and Barbuda have a population of approximately 97,000 and have distributed close to 64,500 single doses according to data from Reuters. Since the pandemic began, the islands have registered 1,264 positive PCR tests and 42 deaths associated with COVID-19 according to data from Google.
According to Our World in Data, since May 5 the number of confirmed daily cases has been consistent between zero and two.
In April, another Caribbean island, St. Vincent, required residents to accept a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine before they would be allowed to evacuate during an eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.