Wednesday, January 26 2022
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As the NBA continues to try and safely navigate the 2021-22 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of vaccines among players is still a major talking point. Though the league doesn’t have a vaccine mandate in place for players specifically, it has done everything in its power to try and educate them on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, which has resulted in a 95 percent vaccination rate amongst players

Now, though, the league is recommending that players who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, or the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago should get a booster shot, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. This recommendation also extends to coaches and front office members, all of whom were required to be fully vaccinated before the season began. 

For players who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, they will have until Dec. 1 to get a booster shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. If they don’t, then they will be required to undergo testing on game days going forward. It’s unclear at this time if that same rule will apply to players who previously received Pfizer or Moderna. 

The NBA‘s approach to booster shots is similar to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended for Americans across the country. Per those guidelines, up to 99 million Americans are now eligible to receive booster shots, regardless of what vaccine they got. The recommendation is to wait at least six months for those who got Pfizer or Moderna, and two months for Johnson & Johnson recipients.

As it pertains to the league, recommending booster shots may cause some more friction from the players, as some of them have been very vocal against getting the vaccine. Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving is one of those players, as he remains unvaccinated, and as a result, has not played in a single game this season as the Nets want him to get the vaccine. For many players around the league, getting another shot probably won’t be that big of an issue as the majority of the league is vaccinated, but that vocal minority has been a constant headache for the league so far this season. 



NBA to players, coaches, refs: Booster shots are recommended


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