The NBA announced on Sunday, via the Associated Press, that vaccinated players will now be required the receive the booster shot, or fall subject to COVID testing for each game for the remaining season. The ruling is slated to go into effect less than a month (Dec. 1) since the new guideline’s announcement.
Per Stadium / The Athletic’s Shams Charania: “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.”
The Association and NBPA’s backing for the new mandate addresses the proven drop in efficacy that the vaccines have, months after inoculation. Without regard for natural immunity’s effect, the NBA continues to be at the whim of vaccine efficacy to handle COVID mitigation — which hasn’t been favorable for the league.
According to OutKick’s Meg Turner, “As the Delta variant became the predominant variant in the U.S., the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine plunged from 86% to just 13% over those six months, the study shows.”
Each player will have their full vaccination status tracked before being subject to the mandate.
If the deadline falls beyond the two-month period of full vaccination for Johnson & Johnson recipients, they will be immediately required to provide proof of receiving the booster on Dec. 1. For recipients of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, the mandate will apply after six months of full vaccination.
While the NBA has yet to implement a vaccine mandate, the requirements used to navigate around the COVID ordeal among players has already caused issues based on the shifting standards for vaccinated, and stern stance against unvaccinated players.
At the start of October 2021, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that 95 percent of players have been vaccinated.
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