A few days after NBA commissioner Adam Silver vowed the league would not “jump the line” to obtain COVID-19 vaccines, official warnings were sent out Thursday that administering the newly released immunizations ahead of public-health prioritization guidelines are prohibited.
The NBA sent a memo – which was obtained and reported by ESPN — to its franchises that the league will “work to vaccinate its players and staffs consistent with the timing and prioritization set by applicable public health guidelines.”
The memo also stated that medical experts advising the league “are in agreement with the FDA that the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the coronavirus are safe and effective,” according to ESPN.
The memo was sent one day after Wednesday’s game between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed due to multiple coronavirus cases — and James Harden’s violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols — left the Rockets without the league-mandated eight available players.
“It goes without saying that in no form or way will we jump the line,” Silver had said Monday on a conference call. “We will wait our turn to get the vaccine. When you think about the logistical feat that now the federal and state governments are undertaking, where if every citizen ultimately requires two doses and with a population of over 300 百万, it’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the logistical challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine.”
The memo also noted that the NBA is granting exceptions for immunization “for team physicians, health-related personnel and older staff members or those with conditions that deliver a higher risk for complications upon contracting the coronavirus,” ESPN reported.
The NBA and the Players Association also reportedly will work together on an education campaign to publicly promote vaccine safety.