NBA issues league wide mandate requiring covid-19 booster shots
Citing scientific data relating to antibody levels, the league has redoubled it's efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
The league has begun promotion of booster shots as it moves to control the situation.
The NBA advises all to take the booster shot
On Sunday the NBA issued a statement advising all players, coaches and referees to receive booster shots against the coronavirus. Special attention was given to individuals who have received the the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As the pandemic continues to tax both society and sport, the league has been working alongside the National Basketball Players Association to encourage those who received the single dose vaccine more than two months ago to have the booster administered.
NBA informed teams today that all players who received the J&J vaccine at least two months ago will be subject to Game Day testing beginning Dec. 1 if they do not receive the additional booster shot. https://t.co/l0SCUUERAA— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 7, 2021
The move comes on the back of an advisory from the league's public health and infectious disease experts. In addition it is understood that the booster recommendation also was made to those who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at least six months ago.
Antibody data used by the NBA
According to reported news the league is calling for those who were given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to seek a Pfizer or Moderna booster, while those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines could choose whatever booster is available. It is understood that the data used by the NBA shows that antibody levels for Pfizer and Moderna recipients decrease after six months while those of Johnson & Johnson saw their antibodies decreasing after just two months.
For more from the NBA
Going forward, those who are vaccinated but elect to not receive a booster could be subjected to game-day testing again starting Dec. 1, the NBA said. The date will of course vary depending on when the individual was originally vaccinated and what type of vaccine they received.
The NBA's teams prepare for booster shots
In light of the news there are some teams which have already begun the process of planning for players to receive booster shots once they become available. Incidentally there have in fact been a small number of previously vaccinated NBA players who have tested positive this season for covid-19 and entered the league's health and safety protocols. One such player is Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers. Speaking on the player's condition, 76ers coach Doc Rivers gave an update. "He's doing OK but not great, honestly. ... It hit him for sure," Rivers said last week. "A lot of guys have had this, and they are mad, like 'What the hell, I'm fine.' Tobias is not in that category right now, I can tell you that."
76ers coach Doc Rivers on Tobias Harris, out with COVID: "He's doing OK but not great, honestly. ... It hit him for sure. A lot of guys have had this and they are mad, like 'what the hell, I'm fine.' Tobias is not in that category right now, I can tell you that."— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 3, 2021
The NBA had initially boasted a very high vaccination rate with approximately 97% of it's players believed to be vaccinated when the season started last month. Impressive when viewed alongside the national population average in the USA which currently about 60% of - some 193 million people. More than 21 million have received a booster dose across the country with numbers continuing to climb daily the fight against the pandemic continues.
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