The United States is gradually getting to the end of the coronavirus pandemic because of a well-planned and coordinated vaccine effort. According to the CDC, 83.9 million (or over 25 percent of the American population) have received at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine (in most cases) and 45.5 million are fully vaccinated (13.7 percent). The vaccination numbers are among the best in the world. These rates beat out others that have managed the initial stages of the pandemic better, whether it’s China, the European Union, Korea, Japan, Australia or New Zealand.
It should be no surprise that NBA teams are also getting vaccinated, though it’s unclear whom due to HIPAA’s regulations around patient privacy. So it’s anyone’s guess as to whether it’s coaches and ticket sales staff getting the vaccine first, or if it’s players.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, some people affiliated with the Los Angeles Lakers will get the coronavirus vaccine this week. In their report, the Lakers are the fourth team that acknowledged receiving vaccines, including the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers, where most players were among the groups of people getting them.
There is an incentive for players and teams to get the coronavirus vaccine though no individual is mandated to get one. One of them is that teams won’t have to wear face masks indoors provided that one is fully vaccinated and at least 85 percent of team staff and players are as well. They would also be able to go to restaurants again and not be under quarantine if they are listed as a “close contact” for a positive coronavirus case.
The Washington Wizards haven’t been among the teams to get the coronavirus vaccine yet. That said, over half of the team contracted the virus outright, and would have some level of protection from that. Two players had COVID-19 last season (Russell Westbrook and Robin Lopez), and seven more back in January during an outbreak that forced them to postpone six consecutive games. That said, the CDC still recommends that people who had COVID-19 still get the vaccine anyway because it is possible to get the virus multiple times. So we can expect that most of the Wizards’ players will get vaccinated at some point.
It is good news to see more teams (and players) getting vaccinated. But at the same time, there are plenty of people in the general public who are front line workers who still can’t get a vaccine after signing up with the Health Department of their state/district. And forget about CVS or Walgreens who have more stringent criteria. I checked them all, and those efforts were futile. I hope this disconnect of vaccine supply and demand evens itself out very soon so we can get this coronavirus nightmare behind us very soon.
To register for the coronavirus vaccine in the DMV, click on the links below: