NBA Issues League Wide Covid Booster Shot or Testing Mandate

On Sunday, the NBA published a statement recommending all players, coaches, and referees to get coronavirus booster shots. Individuals who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination were given special consideration. As pandemic restrictions continue to wreak havoc on society and sport, the NBA has teamed up with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to encourage players and staff members who had the single dosage vaccination more than two months ago to get a booster shot. 

CBS Sports reports the decision was made in response to a recommendation by the league’s public health and infectious disease specialists. It was also recommended that people who had the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations at least six months ago get a booster shot. The league suggests that individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination seek a Pfizer or Moderna booster, while those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can pick any available booster.

According to the NBA’s findings, antibody levels for Pfizer and Moderna recipients fall after six months, but antibodies for Johnson & Johnson recipients decrease after just two months.

Although the NBA insists there is no vaccine mandate, those vaccinated but have chosen not to get a booster shot may be subjected to game-day testing again beginning December 1. However, the date will differ depending on when the person was first vaccinated and what sort of vaccination they got.

The Association’s and NBPA’s support for the proposed rule addresses the confirmed reduction in effectiveness months after vaccination. Completely ignoring natural immunity, the NBA continues to be at the mercy of vaccine efficacy to deal with COVID mitigation.

Several organizations have already started arranging for booster injections to be given to players as soon as they become available. Some previously vaccinated players have tested positive for Covid-19 this season and have been placed under the league’s health and safety standards. 

Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers is one such player. Head coach Doc Rivers gave an update on Harris’ status, claiming that “He’s doing OK but not great, honestly. … It hit him for sure.” 

Continued pressure from the league for players and staff to get booster doses may produce additional conflict since several have been vocal in their opposition to the vaccination. Kyrie Irving, the top point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, is still unvaccinated and hasn’t played in a single game this season because of the team’s vaccination rules.

While the bulk of the league is vaccinated, receiving another injection may raise questions for some players and increase skepticism among the vocal minority who have remained steadfast in their opposition to the vaccine. 

Besides Irving, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic have also been vocal critics of vaccine mandates. Additionally, Brandon Goodwin of the Atlanta Hawks has claimed that vaccine side effects ended his season.

The NBA has continually bent to the whims of the political establishment. The league was among the first major businesses to shut down due to Covid

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