A Covid-19 vaccine will likely become available to the general public sometime in April 2021according to the Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Dr. Fauci but some NBA players may not jump at the opportunity at being one of the first athletes to take it.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, multiple NBA players have already begun voicing concerns about taking a vaccine during the season if it’s made available to them.
NBA could be the first league to have to manage widespread usage of a vaccine & convince players it's safe. They've begun working on yet another unprecedented scenario: https://t.co/o7GXlOJXKv
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) December 10, 2020
• A need to create an educational program for players and staff about vaccine choices, possible side effects and efficacy with the intent to put players at ease so they are willing to receive the vaccine. The process is in its earliest stages, and some players have already expressed hesitation about the vaccine to their agents and team doctors, sources told ESPN.
“I would guess that for most players, they will be willing to take it,” said a prominent agent who represents numerous players. “I think there will be a societal push for as many as possible to take it.”
Others feel it will be a harder sell. Among the issues, sources said, is that players who have had the virus — and now have some level of antibodies — might need to be convinced the vaccine is necessary. Between the season restart this summer and the start of this season’s training camp, the NBA announced around 100 positive tests for players and staff. But that does not account for the players and coaches who contracted the virus during the shutdown and in the offseason, only a few of whom have identified themselves.
There are some talks within league circles that the NBA may need to recruit an influential figure like Barack Obama to convince players to take the vaccine if it’s deemed safe.
“We are going to need someone they trust, who is not involved with the league, that can lay it out for the skeptical guys,” said another agent who represents All-Stars. “Maybe it’s someone like [former] President [Barack] Obama. To position this to the players as an opportunity to motivate others, which happened with masks.”
NBA players CJ McCollum and De’Aaron Fox reacted to the possibility of the NBA being the first league to test out Covid-19 vaccines.
— De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) December 10, 2020
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) December 10, 2020
As of now, the NBA is currently in talks with the players association about whether taking a vaccine will be required once they become available and are proven safe.
In the guidance, the league told players it would work with the National Basketball Players Association about whether taking a vaccine would be required if it’s proven safe. Or if not required, whether there would be separate protocols for p