The National Basketball Association (NBA) wants its players, coaches and referees to take the COVID-19 booster shot, the Associated Press reports. The league notified all parties on Sunday (Nov. 7) that they should consider receiving their third dose, especially players who were vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
According to league data, about 97% of NBA players were believed to be vaccinated at the beginning of the 2021-2022 season. While those numbers trump vaccination rates among players in the National Football League, and Major League Baseball, the NBA wants to continue to be proactive.
AP reports that the NBA worked with the National Basketball Players Association and the league’s public health and infectious disease experts to come up with the recommendations. The data they used to make their suggestions showed that antibody levels for people who receive the Pfizer and Moderna shots wane after six months and after two months for Johnson & Johnson recipients.
All players who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago and players who received Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over six months ago should get a booster, the league said. The Pfizer and Moderna booster shots were recommended to all players, regardless of which shot they received at first.
More than 21 million Americans have received a booster dose, according to the AP. And although the NBA’s vaccination rates among players are high, the league remains in the midst of a standoff with one of its biggest stars. Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has missed each of his team’s first ten games due to his decision not to get vaccinated and New York’s strict indoor rules. Prior to the season, Irving took to Instagram Live to address his stance on the matter. ”Nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies,” Irving said at the time.