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Report: The NBA forbids teams from pursuing the COVID-19 vaccine early

With medical exceptions, the NBA will not seek to jump in line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

As 2020 drawing to a close, the most dominant force of the year is still front and center: the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although it has made for one of the most miserable years in many of our lifetimes (I personally lost my grandfather to COVID over Thanksgiving), there is a light at the end of the tunnel as two vaccines have been approved and are being distributed.

However, the NBA has sent all teams a memo warning that franchises are “forbidden from pursuing and administering newly released coronavirus vaccines on a teamwide basis ahead of public health guidelines for prioritization.” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In informing teams that medical experts advising the NBA are in agreement with the FDA that the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the coronavirus are “safe and effective,” the NBA told teams the league will work to vaccinate its players and staffs “consistent with the timing and prioritization set by applicable public health guidelines,” the memo said.

Of course, in guidance with the current distribution of the vaccine, there will be exceptions for team physicians, health-related staff, and personnel with underlying medical conditions or other issues (like age) that cause them to be more vulnerable and at risk should they contract the virus.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had the following to say in a Monday press conference:

“It goes without saying that in no form or way will we jump the line. 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 million, it’s beyond comprehension when you start to begin to think about the logistical challenges of transporting and distributing this vaccine.”